Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Friday, October 16, 2009

I wasn't sure whether the foetuses found in Tutankhamun's tomb had been X-rayed recently, but they have. I watched a documentary the other night which showed the process (sometime during 2009 I think), clear shots of the two mummies and of their X-rays.  It was about Akhenaten and the thesis that he suffered from Marfans syndrome.  That's not new ground, but the question was whether Tutankhamun's mummy exhibit the same features shown in Akhenaten's statues, but his mummy was unsurprisingly (and thankfully) not available for inspection in a fairly low-rent TV documentary. But the mummies of his putative children were.

In answer to the question, the foetuses neither exhibited clear signs of Marfans, nor could it be ruled out.  But it's good to know they have been professionall X-rayed.

What distressed me though was the treatment of these girls.  The mummy of Tutankhamun is held with reverence in his tomb in the Valley of the Kings.  What are probably the mummies of this only children are stored in a plain wooden box on the bottom shelf of a bookcase in a Cairo hospital.  The presenter was even allowed to remove the padding from around them, though thankfully there was no sign he touched them.

I think it's terribly disrespectful that these mummies aren't treated with the same respect as Tutankhamun's mummy.  OK so they are only girls not a young man, but surely they deserve the same respect as Tutankhamun and should be restored to their proper place in KV62?  They should also be in a proper climate controlled enclosure not stored in a wooden box which wasn't even airtight.  Frankly I was disgusted and I'm seriously thinking of starting a petition to call for these girls to receive fitting respect as princesses and be restored to lie with their father.  It's been reported elsewhere that the condition of the youngest one has deteriorated since the 1970s. 


tim said...

Hi Kate

You know the officials in Cairo were unable a while back to tell the difference from Unknown woman "B" and "D" also what became of the priest king Pinudjem I or even the real Ramses I.

The treatment of Tutankhamen's children does not surprise me at all considering when found Tut was an intact mummy and today is an assortment of pieces in little better condition than the mummy of Thutmosis III who was broken up by ancient robbers.

I am actually more surprised they haven't thrown them away like so many other royal mummies.

A museum may be a dangerous place to be but apparently a medical center is too!


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