Egyptian Mummy Scans Show Ancient Heart Disease

By  //  June 8, 2014

EGYPTIAN princess died about 3,500 years ago

mummy-Tamut-180-1ABOVE VIDEO: Tamut was a priestess and temple singer who died in Luxor, Egypt around 900 BC. CT scans have allowed researchers to make a lot of new discoveries about Tamut. By analyzing her pelvic bone, they were able to find her approximate age (between 30 and 50). Gazing into her arteries, they found a possible cause of death — plaque build-up that could have resulted in a heart attack or stroke.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC – An unidentified Egyptian mummy dated back to between 688 and 332 B.C. slides into a CT scanner as part of a recent study of ancient disease.

NAT-GEO-MUMMY-HEART-DISEASE-435-6The mummy was among 52 from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo subjected to medical scanning by a joint U.S.-Egyptian team.

The tests revealed that almost half of the dead have clogged arteries associated with a condition called atherosclerosis, which can lead to heart attack or stroke.

One of the mummies, a princess who died about 3,500 years ago, is now the oldest known case of the arterial disease, the researchers say.

Gregory Thomas
Gregory Thomas

“If the princess was in a time machine and I was to see her now, I would tell her to lay off the fat, take plenty of exercise, then schedule her for heart surgery,” said study co-leader Gregory Thomas, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Irvine.

“She would require a double bypass.”

Read more about the Egyptian princess, the oldest known sufferer of heart disease >>

Egyptian mummy picture: CT scan image of a mummy's skull inside a funerary maskEgyptian mummy picture: An unidentified mummy undergoing a CT scan