Scientists Have Discovered A Mummy In Madrid Who Was Once The Great Egyptian Pharaoh Ptolemy II’s Eye Doctor

After conducting a tomography analysis of a mummy in Madrid’s National Archaeology Museum, scientists discovered that it belonged to the personal ophthalmologist of Egyptian pharaoh Ptolemy II.

King of Egypt, Philadelphus Ptolemy II (309 - 246 BC), the founder of the museum and library at Alexandria, circa 280 BC.
Hulton Archive / Getty Images

After conducting a tomography analysis of a mummy in Madrid’s National Archaeology Museum, scientists discovered that it belonged to the personal ophthalmologist of Egyptian pharaoh Ptolemy II.

Scientists have recently discovered that a mummy now housed in the National Archaeology Museum in Madrid was once the great Egyptian pharaoh Ptolemy II’s personal ophthalmologist. This revelation came after researchers completed a 15 hour procedure known as the “CT Mummy Operation.”

As El Pais have reported, while the CT Mummy Operation was originally undertaken three years ago in 2016, the surprising results of this procedure are just now being released. A discovery was made — that one of the mummies studied was a priest called Nespamedu, who once served as Ptolemy II’s dutiful and diligent eye doctor. Nespamedu is also believed to have treated Ptolemy III.

After completing a tomography analysis, scientists discovered that beneath the many bandages that encased the mummy of the Egyptian priest, there were also numerous charms and jewels. This demonstrated that the mummy was once an important member of ancient Egyptian society.

Scientists now know that Nespamedu would have lived between the years 300 and 200 B.C., and in addition to having been the personal eye doctor of Ptolemy II, would also have served time working in the Imhotep-Asclepius clinic in Serapeum of Saqqara — also known as Memphis. Nespamedu may also have once performed his many duties in Alexandria.

As the National Archaeology Museum explained, “The fact that he was the pharaoh’s doctor makes us think that part of his life was lived in Alexandria, where Ptolemy had his court.”

Because Nespamedu was such an upstanding member of society with enormous status, he had also attained great wealth by the time of his death. This afforded him the opportunity to make certain that he was adequately prepared to take his journey into death — being mummified with all of the appropriate charms necessary to guarantee him a pleasurable existence in the afterlife.

The numerous plaques and charms found on Nespamedu’s mummy were scattered throughout his body. They included representations of the four sons of Horus — the goddess sisters Isis and Nephthys, the god Anubis, and the god Thoth, who was also known as the god of ophthalmologists. Thoth, it will be remembered, once replaced Horus’ eye after he had fought a fierce battle with Set.

A report by the National Archaeology Museum stated that the many representations of gods and goddesses was not at all surprising, especially given Nespamedu’s personal religious beliefs in the Egyptian afterlife.

“There is nothing casual about the iconography and it is clear that he wanted to register his beliefs and the responsibilities that had elevated him to the upper echelons of society.”

In total, there were 2,739 scans taken of Nespamedu’s mummy. The National Archaeology Museum in Madrid now know that they are the proud holders of the mummy of a man who was once the personal eye doctor to Egyptian pharaoh Ptolemy II.