Recent analysis of the famous Egyptian mummy named Takabuti has revealed a new and significant detail on how she was murdered – specifically, a different type of weapon was likely used to kill her.
Takabuti lived in Thebes (now it’s Luxor) around 660 BC, was married, and died when she was in her late 20s or early 30s. CT scans that were performed a little over a year ago revealed that she died from a stab wound to the upper part of her back close to her left shoulder. It was initially thought that she was stabbed with a knife but new studies have revealed that she was probably murdered with an axe.
In a recently published book called “The Life and times of Takabuti in ancient Egypt: investigating the Belfast mummy,” editors Professor Rosalie David from the University of Manchester and Professor Eileen Murphy Queen's University Belfast stated that the weapon used in Takabuti’s murder was presumably a military axe.
In their research, they used several different types of scientific techniques, such as DNA analysis, CT scans, X-rays, proteomics and radio carbon dating, as well as studies on the mummy’s hair and the materials she was packed in.
They reached the weapons conclusion based on the wound that they think an axe would have caused. The blade would have had a semi-circular sharp edge that was 7 to 7.5 cm long at the minimum. With the style of weapon used and the force used when striking her with it, she would have died very quickly (possibly instantaneously) due to her injuries.
Professor Rosalie David, who is an Egyptologist from The University of Manchester's KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology, noted, “It is somewhat comforting to know that Takabuti's death - though violent, was quick and she probably didn't suffer for long.” “Because we have been able to identify the shape of the wound and the angle of entry of the murder weapon, we think an ax was probably responsible.” She added, “It is, however difficult to be absolutely definitive because the morphology of the wound has been significantly distorted.”
Furthermore, whoever killed her more than likely lunged the weapon into her back while she was attempting to run away. As for who her killer was, since the weapon was believed to have been an axe, it may have been an Assyrian soldier or even someone from the Egyptian army, although it’s only speculation. (Pictures of the mummy can be seen here.)