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The latest images of Meresamun reveal new evidence about her health, life, and mummification.

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Images produced by the examination helped researchers identify five roughly oval-shaped amulets on Meresamun's body: one covering each eyelid, one at the neck, one on the chest, and one at the back. They also showed that her throat had been stuffed with dense wads of packing material--the consistency of mud, soil, or sand mixed with chips of rock and some kind of binder--extended into her mouth and covered her bottom teeth.
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The embalmers cleared Meresamun's nasal passage very gently before scooping out her brain. Her cranium was empty.
[image] Countless tiny fractures appear throughout Meresamun's ribcage and collarbones. Some of the images of the area are so sharp, radiologist Mike Vannier could determine that the embalming materials (resin and linen) shoved into her chest, where her lungs and heart once were, had become brittle and cracked in the exact same places as the bones, and that the bones had never healed. The findings indicate that the damage occurred long after death and embalming. The coffin may have been dropped in antiquity.
Meresamun had a slight overbite, but unlike most other Egyptians she didn't have any cavities and there were no signs of dental disease. The entire top layer of her tooth enamel, however, had been worn down by the grit in Egyptian bread, which was made from stone-ground flour. [image]
[image] [image] This profile view has virtually melted away the layers of linen bandages that hold Meresamun's body perfectly in place in the coffin, providing insight into her mummification.

Eti Bonn-Muller is managing editor at ARCHAEOLOGY.