CT scan shows ancient Egyptian King Seqenenre Taa II killed in battle with invaders

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CAIRO, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) — The computerized tomography (CT) scan conducted by two Egyptian researchers of ancient Egyptian King Seqenenre Taa II revealed that the king was killed while fighting Egypt’s invaders in the 16th century BC, according to a statement of the Egyptian ministry of tourism and antiquities on Wednesday.

“He was martyred for the sake of reunifying Egypt,” said the ministry statement, adding the embalmers had skillfully concealed some head wounds.

Zahi Hawass, a renowned Egyptian archaeologist and former minister of antiquities, and Sahar Saleem, professor of radiology at the Faculty of Medicine of Cairo University, examined the mummy of King Seqenenre by the CT scan, according to the statement.

The king ruled southern Egypt during the occupation of the country by the Hyksos, a foreign ruling dynasty that seized the delta in northern Egypt for about a century from 1650 BC to 1550 BC.

The mummy of Seqenenre was discovered in 1881 and examined in the 1960s by X-ray. Some believed that the king was killed in a battle, perhaps by the hands of the Hyksos, while others indicated that Seqenenre may have been killed by a conspiracy while sleeping in his palace.

Because of the poor condition of the mummy, some suggested that the mummification may have taken place in a hurry away from the royal mummification workshop.

However, the new CT scan proved that “a sophisticated method was used to hide wounds on the king’s head under a layer of embalming material, a similar way for the fillings made in the modern plastic surgery, which means that the mummification was actually done in a royal mummification workshop.”

Hawass and the medical expert Saleem presented a new explanation of the events before and after the death of Seqenenre with two- and three-dimensional CT images, which proved that Seqenenre may have been captured on the battlefield and his hands were tied behind his back, preventing him from any resistance.

The two Egyptian experts also confirmed that the king’s head wounds were compatible with the various Hyksos weapons stored at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, including an axe, a spear, and several daggers.

“The study confirmed that Seqenenre was killed by several hits from different angles by several Hyksos fighters, which proved that the brave king was killed on the battle front line, risking his life with his soldiers to liberate Egypt rather than in a ceremonial execution,” said the statement.

According to the shape of bones, the CT study also determined that Seqenenre was killed at the age of 40.

“The death of Seqenenre encouraged his successors to continue the struggle to unify Egypt and found the New Kingdom,” the statement said, pointing to a new angle in Egypt’s long history after the study. Enditem

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