Violent Death of Pharaoh Senebkay

Forensic Study Confirms Violent Death of Pharaoh Senebkay

TSenebkay_Skeletonhe tomb of Pharaoh Senebkay (ca. 1650-1600 BC) was discovered last year, in Abydos, Egypt, by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania Museum working with Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities. Since then, through extensive forensic analysis of the skeleton, scholars were able to shed light on the life and death of the ancient Egyptian king. Dr. Maria Rosado and Dr. Jane Hill of Rowan University documented an arrangement of wounds suggesting Senebkay died at the age of 35-40, during a violent assault from multiple attackers. They detected a total of 18 wounds on the skeleton, including three considerable traumas on the skull, seemingly caused by battle axes. Senebkay was most likely involed in a military confrontation or an ambush at the time of his death. He ruled during Egypt’s Second Intermediate Period (ca. 1650-1550 BC), often considered by historians to be the most obcure. As a result, however informative this forensic analysis, the team leader of the study Dr. Josef Wegner of the Penn Museum believes the research is far from over: “Forensic analysis has provided some new answers about the life, and death, of this ancient Egyptian king, while raising a host of new questions about both Senebkay, and the Second Intermediate Period of which he was a part,” he told the Penn Museum press release.

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