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Mystery of Ramses III's death unravelled

Archaeologists conclude that Bronze Age pharaoh was assassinated in a plot conducted by his second wife, Tiya

Nevine El-Aref , Tuesday 18 Dec 2012
3D reconstruction image of Ramses III mummy
Views: 7183
Views: 7183

After two years of scientific and archaeological research and analysis, Egyptologists have solved the mystery of Ramses III's death.

They have discovered the king was murdered as part of a plot woven by his second wife, Tiya, who wished to put her son, Prince Pentawere, on the throne.

According to a medical report published on Monday in the British Medical Journal, a team led by archaeologist and former antiquities minister Zahi Hawass, and Cairoscan Centre Executive Director Ashraf Selim, DNA analysis and x-rays carried out on two unknown mummies exhibited at the Egyptian Museum, known as Unknown Man E and the Screaming Mummy, revealed that Unknown Man E is Ramses III, and he was killed by a blow from a sharp knife to the back of his neck.

The x-rays located a Horus eye amulet inside his chest, and four other amulets representing the four sons of Horus.  

Hawass points out that these amulets were inserted into the mummy's chest in a special position in order to protect the king during his trip to eternity.

Studies also revealed that the Screaming Mummy is Prince Pentawere, who committed suicide by hanging himself as a result of the failure of the plot.

"We are changing a saga of ancient Egyptian history," Hawass asserts. He explains that these recent results contradict with what was written in the papyrus trial transcripts, which mentioned that Ramses III was not killed during the plot.

The papyrus trial transcripts relate the royal harem’s plot against the king during a celebration at Medinet Habu temple. They planned to kill the king and put his second son on the throne. The papyrus mentions that many individuals were caught up in the plot, including Queen Tiya, Pentawere and a number of key household officials. Some of the plotters were sentenced to death, while others, including Pentawere, were ordered to kill themselves.

King Ramses III reigned from 1187 to 1156 BC.

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Geoffrey Johnson
30-10-2014 04:39pm
Screaming mummy.
The statement that the murderer, almost certainly Pentawere himself, hanged himself does not fit with the fact he was screaming when he died. If he'd commited suicide he would not have been screaming, as he would know that his execution would be a lot worse an experience. He was right. The screaming was due to being wrapped in bandages from head to foot and put in his coffin alive. That he had a goatskin on him indicated he was being treated as a commoner. He screamed because he knew this was the worst way to die, whereas his mother was allowed to commit suicide rather than face an ignominious execution.
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