Queen Nefertari, the favourite Royal Consort of Pharaoh Ramses II (Ancient Egypt, New Kingdom, 19th Dynasty c. 1250 BC) is famous for her beautifully decorated tomb in the Valley of the Queens. Her burial was plundered in ancient times yet still many objects were found broken in the debris when the tomb was excavated. Amongst the found objects was a pair of mummified legs. They came to the Egyptian Museum in Turin and are henceforth regarded as the remains of this famous Queen, although they were never scientifically investigated. The following multidisciplinary investigation is the first ever performed on those remains. The results (radiocarbon dating, anthropology, paleopathology, genetics, chemistry and Egyptology) all strongly speak in favour of an identification of the remains as Nefertari’s, although different explanations-albeit less likely-are considered and discussed. The legs probably belong to a lady, a fully adult individual, of about 40 years of age. The materials used for embalming are consistent with Ramesside mummification traditions and indeed all objects within the tomb robustly support the burial as of Queen Nefertari.
Several speculations exist regarding possible diseases of the juvenile Pharaoh Tutankhamun. In this review published paleopathological findings and artificial alterations as well as suggestions regarding underlying diseases were characterized.
- Virchows Archiv : an international journal of pathology
- Published over 6 years ago
Modern paleopathology is a multidisciplinary field of research which involves archaeology, medicine and biology. The most common diseases of Ancient Egypt were traumatic injuries, malaria and tuberculosis. Exemplarily, an internistic and trauma surgery case of that time is reviewed: Pharaoh Tutankhamun (ca. 1330-1324 B.C.). Summarising all findings which have been collected between 1922 and 2010, including computed tomography and molecular pathology, a diversity of disease is verifiable: (1) chronic/degenerative diseases (mild kyphoscoliosis, pes planus and hypophalangism of the right foot, bone necrosis of metatarsal bones II-III of the left foot); (2) inflammatory disease (malaria tropica, verified by PCR analysis) and (3) acute trauma (complex fracture of the right knee shortly before death). The most likely cause of death is the severe acute knee fracture and/or the malaria, while a suspected eighteenth dynasty syndrome cannot be proven.