Monday, March 28, 2011

Wart on the forehead of Queen Tiye?

Online Journal

King Tut's grandmother Queen Tiye may have been a legendary beauty, but she had an ugly wart on her forehead, a mummy expert says. The small, flat protuberance was located between the eyes of the so-called Elder Lady (KV35EL).

The bump had gone unnoticed for centuries until Mercedes Gonzalez, director of the Instituto de Estudios Cientificos en Momias in Madrid, saw it while viewing the mummy during a trip to the Cairo Museum.

"I got a high resolution image of the mummy's face from the Egyptian museum. From the enlargement, the small growth appears compatible with a flat wart or verruca plana," Gonzalez told Discovery News.

Gonzales believes that the bump is a hyperplastic epidermal lesion, a harmless bump produced by the papilloma virus. These bumps typically appear on the face, neck and back of the hands... But they're not typically found on the faces of ancient Egyptian mummies.

"Until now I haven't seen anything similar," Gonzalez said.

But Frank Ruhli, head of the Swiss Mummy Project and Center for Evolutionary Medicine at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, isn't sure whether the bump is really a wart, and whether the mummy is even really Tiye.

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