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What the tomography of a pharaoh beheaded 3,500 years ago says

A group of Egyptian scientists analyzed the remains of Pharaoh Seqenenre Taa II, executed after a battle. Learn more about its history and its sad end.

His name was Seqenenre Taa II and he was executed in the middle of the battlefield. It didn’t matter if it was Pharaoh, the man who led his people. He died at the hands of his opponents, enraged after the fight.

It was a horrible death for anyone, but very dishonorable for a noble.

More than 3,500 years have passed since his assassination and technology today reveals several details about the end of Seqenenre Taa II. His remains, discovered in 1886, were subjected to a CT scan.

Sahar Saleem, a professor of radiology at Cairo University, led the research. « This suggests that Seqenenre was really in the front line with his soldiers, » says the expert.

But how did the warrior pharaoh die?

The enemy soldiers surrounded the leader. Among several, they attacked him: they left a huge gash on his forehead, cuts around his eyes and cheeks, and a stab at the base of his skull.

The harshness of war, no doubt.

The story of the pharaoh shattered by his enemies

Seqenenre was ruler of southern Egypt between 1558 and 1553 BC. He faced the Hyksos, who controlled the north of the region and demanded tribute from the south.

The warrior pharaoh refused, even arguing a complaint from the king of the Hyksos. What was this character saying? That Seqenenre’s hippos disturbed him, so he would destroy the sacred pool where they were.

Things of the time, but these excuses would have meant the definitive flash.

The Hyksos prevailed and not only killed Seqenenre, but his immediate successor, Kamose.

After the battle, Pharaoh’s lifeless body was embalmed. At the end of the 19th century, archaeologists found it. And now, at the beginning of the 21st century, he received the scientific gaze to analyze his sad death.

Experts use X-rays, he says Live Science, from various angles. Thus they can reconstruct the blows suffered by the pharaoh, whose head was found detached from the body.