Good morning, we are exploring Mummy Forensics and looking at a mummy missing the body. The run time for this episode is 46:17 and is called the Missing Body.
In Ancient Egypt, the Pharaoh could punish crimes in grisly and painful ways. The harshest punishment of all could rob you of your place in the afterlife. Is this mummy that was beheaded? Or was he punished in another way? Who was the mummy? What happened to this mummy’s body? The Mummy forensics team will have a challenge on their hands. Have they bitten off more than they could chew?
The mummified head is in a museum in England. Nobody knows how it lost its body. There are so many questions about this mummified head. The only thing that is known about the mummy is that it was male. Joann carefully examines the mummy’s head and notices his features. There are thousands of ways this mummy could have died. The mummy forensics team will have to utilize all their skills to learn more about the mummy. Joann breaks the news to the team that all they have is the head.
The photos prompted a lot of questions from the team. Was he beheaded with an axe? The neck shows a variety of injuries. Scott will go into the archives to learn how the mummy head came to the country. Joann cautions the team that there will be only so much they will learn about the head. With that said, the team goes off to learn what they can about the mummy head. Buckley gets to work on a chemical analysis of the head. It is the first time that the head will be subjected to chemical analysis.
Duncan works on a laser scan of the mummy that way the team can examine the mummy’s head without damaging the head. Joann and Jill work to learn the identify the mummy. The mummy may have come from the old period. The Old Period is when Ancient Egypt rose to prominence. The mummy was donated in 1877 and was found in Egypt at the site of Sakkara. This was the graveyard for Memphis and where Egypt’s elite was buried. The mummy had a high level of mummification done to it, perhaps he attended to the royal family during his life. The hair, eyelids, and ears were remarkably preserved which hints at the quality of the mummification. Joann re-dates the mummy and hits that it came from the New Kingdom Period. This would be 1000 years after the Old Period.
However, when the chemical analysis results come back, the mummy gets re-dated. The New Kingdom period is excluded and pushes the mummy’s date to the Late Period. This is 2000 years later than the museum’s record. He lived in Memphis and possibly could have seen the decline of Egypt. Other results hint that he had high status and perhaps would have been noble. He was wearing the wig and the work that was done to make and maintain a wig shows that the man had wealth. Slowly a picture of the mummy’s life is emerging.
However, the cause of death may be a challenge. Gill researches death in Ancient Egypt and finds a picture of a person being beheaded in Ancient Egypt during the late period. Was the mummy beheaded? Joann consults as a Radiologist to learn the answer. He points out that it was not a clean cut, as if the head had been snapped off. The head is x-rayed to learn more about what happened to the mummy. There is a hole in the mummy’s head, perhaps this was the cause of death for the mummy. Duncan the Joann head to a museum to find a murder weapon. What will this trip to the museum reveal? How did this mummy die? What will the x-rays reveal about the mummy’s head? Tune into the rest of this episode to find out.
I enjoyed that this bodiless mummy proved to be a challenge for the mummy forensics team. However, the team rose to the challenge and managed to answer quite a few questions regarding the mummy. It is an excellent episode to show to a history and science classroom because of the application of the scientific method.
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