A team of Egyptian archaeologists, led by the famous researcher Zahi Hawass, has discovered the secret of the so-called ‘mummy of the screaming woman’.
According to Egyptologists, the mummy belongs to a princess and owes the facial expression that gives it its name to that died of atherosclerosis and it was embalmed when it had already developed the 'rigor mortis‘.
It was found in 1881 in the so-called Deir el Bahari Royal Deposit, in Luxor, the tomb of a priest from the 10th century BC where later dozens of older royal mummies were hidden to protect them from thieves.
The mummy stands out from other mummified bodies because it has its legs crossed, its head tilted to the right, and its mouth is open as if it were screaming.
Apart from the woman's, in the warehouse there was another mummy of a 'screaming man', A prince who lived in the twelfth century BC and who was hanged for participating in a conspiracy against his father.
However, that body was not embalmed, and was wrapped in sheepskin rather than linen. The corpse of the woman, on the other hand, was treated with all the necessary procedures. The words "The royal daughter, the royal sister of Meret Amon" were written on the fabric that surrounds it, which means that she could have lived in the 16th or 13th century BC, since scientists they have evidence of the existence of several princesses named Meret Amon.
To identify the causes of the princess's strange posture, the researchers analyzed the mummy with computerized tomography. They found that at the time of death he was over 50 years old and suffered from severe atherosclerosis, a disease that affected many of his arteries. This suggests that he died suddenly and remained for some time in the position he was in when he lost his life.
"We assume that the body of 'the screaming woman' might not have been discovered until hours later, which is enough to develop 'rigor mortis,'" Hawass told the Ahram newspaper.
“We suggest that the embalmers probably mummified the contracted body of 'the screaming woman' before it decomposed or relaxed. Therefore, the embalmers could not close his mouth or place the contracted body in a horizontal position, as was customary with other mummies, thus preserving the facial expression and posture it had at the time of death, "explained the archaeologist.