Egypt’s Curse of Pharaohs exposed: How DNA test on ‘screaming mummy’ found shocking truth

EGYPT’s Curse of the Pharaohs has been blamed for numerous bizarre deaths ever since Howard Carter discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922, but scientists uncovered an even more shocking truth after performing a DNA test on a “screaming mummy”.

The bizarre burial was found in KV11 of the Valley of the Kings, where the second Pharaoh of the 20th Dynasty of ancient Egypt – Ramses III – was laid to rest with his royal family. Thought to have reigned from 1186BC to 1155BC, Ramses III is considered to have been the last great monarch of the New Kingdom to wield any substantial authority over Egypt. His long reign saw the decline of Egyptian political and economic power, linked to a series of invasions and internal economic problems that also plagued pharaohs before him.


    But he was able to save Egypt from collapsing as many other empires fell during the Late Bronze Age, however, he was brutally assassinated in what came to be known as the Harem conspiracy.

    Amazon Prime’s ‘Egypt’s Unexplained Files’ revealed how archaeologists investigated the so-called screaming mummy to establish if the individual was linked to the death of Ramses III.

    Egyptologist Colleen Darnell said in 2019: “The tomb containing most of the mummies of the rulers of the New Kingdom was discovered in the 1880s.

    “The so-called screaming mummy is found and the physical evidence of the mummy indicates that he died a violent death.”

    For decades the mummy remained an enigma, but in 2012, scientists performed an autopsy on the horrifying corpse.

    Dr Roland Enmarch, from the University of Liverpool, revealed why some had rumoured that the screaming was caused by the Curse of the Pharaohs.

    He said: “It is not in a nice sarcophagus with its name written on it, and the mummy has not been mummified, it is simply a naturally dried out corpse.

    “Some Egyptologists speculate that this person may have been cursed in his burial in some way.”

    Dr Darnell went on to reveal more details about how the mummy was buried.

    She added: “We have every indication that he was intentionally not embalmed properly.

    “His internal organs were left in his body, he was buried ritually in pure goatskin.

    “It seems that the priests, the embalmers who enacted this bizarre version of a mummification ritual took care to not give him a proper burial.”

    But, the autopsy showed chilling details indicating the real reason for the facial expressions.

    Dr Albert Zink, who led the investigation, said: “This mummy is unique because it has its mouth wide open and it looks like it is screaming.

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    “From the outer side around his neck there were some wrinkles, it looks like there was a rope around his neck and maybe he died of suffocation.”

    The narrator of the show detailed how more chilling evidence began to unravel the mystery.

    He said: “The evidence suggests the man was strangled or hanged, it could have been a punishment or a gruesome crime.

    “Egyptologists turned to ancient records for more information, re-examining an ancient papyrus found in the 19th century, they discovered something incredible – trial records, describing a plot to assassinate Ramses III.

    “When experts studied the section naming the accused, they were even more intrigued.

    “On trial was one of the King’s wives, Queen Tye, and also mentioned was her son, Pentaweret.

    “The Pharaoh’s son was found guilty and ordered to kill himself.”

    Dr Enmarch explained why Pentaweret was still buried with his father.

    He added: “The Judicial Papyrus of Turin contains the testimony of the conspirators who took part.

    “It tells us their names, it tells us what they did as part of the conspiracy and who they interacted with.

    “Lower-ranking conspirators are executed, often in very gruesome ways – some impaled on spikes.”

    Amazingly, Dr Zink carried out DNA testing on both the bodies of Ramses III and the “screaming mummy”.

    He revealed: “We found that Pentaweret died from suicide, possibly by hanging himself.

    “We installed a DNA laboratory in Cairo, close to the museum, to extract the DNA and then multiply it and get the genetic fingerprint of the mummy.

    “What we saw when we analysed the DNA of both mummies was that they indeed share 50 percent of the DNA, so it’s highly likely that they are indeed father and son.”


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