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Mummy of Ramesses II Reveals Remarkable Longevity

Ramesses II, also known as Ramses the Great, was one of ancient Egypt’s most renowned pharaohs, reigning for an astonishing 66 years from 1279 BC to 1213 BC. His remarkable longevity, particularly for that era, is evident in the features preserved in his mummy.

Ramesses II was born around 1303 BC and came to the throne in his early twenties, following the death of his father, Seti I. During his reign, he achieved numerous military victories, constructed grand monuments, and expanded the Egyptian empire. His reign marked a period of relative stability and prosperity for Egypt.

By the time of his death, Ramesses II had surpassed the age of 90, which was an extraordinary feat for the time. Life expectancy in ancient Egypt was considerably lower than today due to various factors, including disease, malnutrition, and limited medical knowledge. The fact that Ramesses lived well beyond the typical life expectancy of his era is a testament to his strength and resilience.

The mummy of Ramesses II was discovered in 1881 in the Deir el-Bahri Cache in Luxor, Egypt. It was one of many royal mummies hidden to protect them from grave robbers. The mummy’s advanced age is clearly visible in its features. Ramesses II’s face bears the wrinkles and lines of a long life, and his body shows signs of wear and tear.

The mummification process in ancient Egypt was a complex and highly ritualistic procedure aimed at preserving the body for the afterlife. The meticulous care taken in preserving Ramesses II’s mummy allowed researchers to study not only his physical characteristics but also gain insights into ancient Egyptian embalming practices.

The discovery and examination of Ramesses II’s mummy have provided valuable historical and scientific insights into ancient Egypt, its culture, and the health and longevity of its rulers. His remarkable reign and the preservation of his mummy continue to capture the imagination of people worldwide, offering a fascinating window into the distant past of one of history’s greatest civilizations.