Murder on the Nile

photo credit: Milton CJ via photopin cc
photo credit: Milton CJ via photopin cc

Murder is older than civilisation, and incriminating evidence may still be available more than three thousand years later. So it seems according to scientists from the European Academy of Bolzano/Bozen in Italy who have been examining the ancient Egyptian mummies of Rameses III and his suspected son.

It’s long been speculated that Rameses III was murdered. Court documents indicate an attempted coup led by Tyre, one of his wives, and her son, Prince Pentawere. To investigate the crime, a team led by Dr. Albert Zink performed CT scans of Rameses III, which revealed a large gash in his throat incompatible with life.

DNA analysis confirmed that a second mummy, that shows signs of death by strangulation at the age of 18-20, is genetically linked to Rameses III, probably in a father-son relationship. This second corpse had been covered with goatskin, a sign of impurity.

Crime solved? Maybe. But it seems as though punishment has already been meted out.


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