- Archaeologists first discovered the Screaming Mummy at Deir El-Bahari in 1886
- Was thought he was poisoned, but new studies show he may have been hanged
The mystery of the ‘screaming Egyptian mummy’ which has baffled archaeologists for years may have finally been resolved.
The mummy, which was discovered at Deir El-Bahari in 1886, stands out in several regards; notably on how it was preserved with an expression of agony on its face — as if forever screaming.
Over the years various theories had been aired in an attempt to reveal who the man was and why he seemed to have died in agony.
One popular theory said he was Prince Pentewere, son of Pharaoh Ramses III and one of his wives, Tiye.
The prince unsuccessfully plotted to kill his father and take his throne — and according to ancient records was made to take his own life by poisoning himself after the plan failed and he was put on trial.
But Dr. Bob Brier, an archaeologist at Long Island University in New York, examined the mummy and suggested there may be more to the story.
“Two forces were acting on this mummy: one to get rid of him and the other to try and preserve him,” he said.
“For some reason, there was an attempt to make sure that he didn’t have an afterlife, and in another attempt, somebody cared about him and tried to override that,” he added.
Dr Zahi Hawass from the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities believes it is likely that the mummy was a prince who brought shame on his family.
The “Screaming Mummy” is on display this week at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. It’s the first time the museum has put it on display.