‘Golden boy’ mummified with 49 amulets found to accelerate journey to the afterlife

According to one study, wealthy ancient Egyptians were given lots of amulets when they were embalmed in hopes of accelerating their journey to the afterlife.

Scientists “digitally opened” the mummified body of a wealthy ancient Egyptian “golden boy” from 2,300 years ago and found 49 amulets of 21 different types on it.

The boy, believed to have been 14 or 15 years old when he died, was around 4 feet 2 inches tall and is believed to have died of natural causes.

The ancient Egyptians believed in an afterlife where entry was not guaranteed. People had to embark on a dangerous journey through the underworld before a final judgment with friends and relatives who did everything in their power to ensure that the person they loved arrived at a happy place.

Ancient Egyptian mummy study

The talismans were placed in three pillars along the body (SN Saleem/SA Great Wall/M al-Halwagy/PA)

Scientists in Egypt used CT scans to discover the amulet.

Dr Sahar Saleem, first author of the study from the University of Cairo, said: “We show here that the body of this mummy was extensively decorated with 49 beautifully stylized amulets with a unique arrangement of three pillars between the folds of the wrappings and inside the mummy’s body cavity.” .

“These include the Eye of Horus, the scarab, the amulet of the horizon, the placenta, the Node of Isis, and others.

Many are made of gold, some of semi-precious stones, baked clay or faience.

“Their purpose was to preserve the body and give it vitality in the afterlife.”

Ancient Egyptian mummy study

The mummy was adorned with ferns and wore a gilded face mask (SN Saleem/SA Seddik/M al-Halwagy/PA)

The mummy was placed in an outer coffin with a Greek inscription and an inner wooden sarcophagus.

The boy wore a gilded head mask, a pectoral cardboard covering the front of his torso, and a pair of sandals.

The sandals were probably meant to get him out of the coffin because, according to the ancient Egyptian funerary text The Book of the Dead, the deceased had to wear white sandals and be devout and clean before reciting his verses.

The exterior of the mummy was decorated with wreaths of ferns because ancient Egyptians believed flowers and plants had sacred and symbolic meanings, while amulets were a testament to a number of ancient Egyptian beliefs.

A golden tongue leaf was placed inside his mouth so that he could speak in the afterlife, a Node of Isis used the goddess’s power in protecting the body, a right-angled talisman was intended to bring balance and balance, and the double hawk and ostrich feathers represented the duality of spiritual and material life.

Ancient Egyptian mummy study

Gold heart scarab inserted into the chest cavity (SN Saleem/SA Seddik/M al-Halwagy/PA)

A golden scarab was found inside the chest cavity, which was used to silence the heart on Judgment Day so that the dead would not testify against it.

It was placed inside the torso as a backup in case the body was deprived of its heart during mummification.

The mummy was found in 1916 in a cemetery in Nag el-Hassay in southern Egypt that was used between about 332 and 30 BC.

It was hidden unexamined in the basement of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

The study was published in the journal Frontiers in Medicine.

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