The mystery of the “Screaming Mummy” centers around the very creepy look of the “horrifying remains” of an ancient mummy unearthed in 1881 in Egypt. This mummy does not look like any of the other mummies unearthed before.
The Screaming Mummy seems to have died in agony and his frozen face appears to have captured his last scream. This face of anguish has spawned many theories throughout the years, but none seem to really explain why this mummy’s face was so distorted when he was preserved for his trip into the afterlife. But a new theory emerged after what new examinations have discovered. It appears that an attempt was made to block this mummy’s crossing over into the afterlife.
Theories were spun over who the Screaming Mummy once was with one of the more popular theories pointing to the mummy possibly being the remains of Prince Pentewere, who was the son of Pharaoh Ramses III and one of his several wives. Ancient records indicate that the prince unsuccessfully plotted to kill his father and he was made to take his own life.
The story goes that the prince was put on trial after his failure and the punishment was that he was made to take his own life, which would explain the look of horror on the mummy’s face. While this theory was the front-runner, other archeologists believe the mummy’s head fell back at one point in time, causing the jaw to open, giving the appearance the mummy died while screaming. Today, archeologists believe the mummy might have been buried alive, possibly poisoned and screaming, reports the International Business Times.
The mummy was found among a large group of tombs in a very plain looking coffin back in 1881. It wasn’t unwrapped until 1886 and it shocked the archeologists to see such an agonizing look on its face, which is why it is called the Screaming Mummy.
An archaeologist at Long Island University in New York, Dr. Bob Brier, has examined the body. He said, “Two forces were acting on this mummy: one to get rid of him and the other to try and preserve him.”
Dr. Zahi Hawass, who is from the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, believes the mummy is indeed a prince who likely brought shame to his family. Hawass points out that the mummy was covered in sheepskin despite being buried among other royals of that era, according to Fox News.
Hawass, who is also a former minister of antiquities, said, “In the mind of the ancient Egyptian, to cover with a sheepskin means he was not clean, he did something bad in his life.” According to the International Business Times, Hawass explains that it is very unusual to see a mummy like this and he also said they haven’t seen one quite like this before. The mummy is suffering and this indicates that something happened, but what that something is, no one knows.
Dr. Brier said that from the way the mummy was found, it appears that there was an attempt to make sure this dead person didn’t make it into the afterlife.
But it didn’t end there as it appears someone else cared about this mummy and stepped in trying to override the original attempt. The mummy has been kept in a coffin at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, that is until this week when it was moved into the museum where it will be put on display.