The reason behind the death of an Egyptian mummy that has piqued people's due to the pained expression on its face has finally been revealed as a sudden heart attack.
Researchers carried out by archaeologists and radiologists found that the Egyptian princess died of the heart attack around 3,000 years ago and learned that the woman was suffering from atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries, a severe disease that causes the heart arteries to get blocked and increase the likelihood of a fatal attack. Her condition also reportedly effected her right and left coronary arteries, neck arteries, abdominal aorta, iliac arteries and lower extremities.
The princess who was discovered in Luxor, way back in 1881 was found with an anguished expression on her face which the scientists now believe was caused by a heart attack but was left in that state due to rigor mortis as they believe that she wasn't found until hours after she had died.
Egyptologist, Dr Zahi Hawass, who worked on the project said in a statement published on his website:
We assume that the dead body of ‘the screaming woman’ might not have been discovered until hours later, enough to develop rigor mortis. We assume that the embalmers likely mummified the contracted body of the ‘screaming woman’ before it decomposed or relaxed. The embalmers were thus unable to secure the mouth closed or put the contracted body in the state of lying down, as was usual with the other mummies, thus preserving her facial expression and posture at the time of death.
Text on the linen that she was wrapped in also revealed that she was 'The royal daughter, the royal sister of Meret Amon.' Unfortunately, this does little to reveal her actual identity as many princesses were given this name. However, the research team has now vowed to carry out further research on the mummy in the hope of learning her true identity.
The site where she was found was also the site of more famous mummy, the son of Pharaoh Ramses III, named Pentawere, who was also found with a screaming expression on his face. His death and subsequent embalmment was not as dignified as he had been forced to kill himself after being found guilty of trying to oust his father from his throne by murdering him. After he killed himself with a cut to the throat, he was not embalmed in a traditional sense but instead wrapped in sheepskin to indicate that he was considered 'unclean.'
The site, which is known as the Royal Cachette of Deir El-Bahari has since be determined to be the place where priests would lay royalty from the 21st and 22nd dynasties to prevent grave robbers from looting them.