London, Mar 17 : An Egyptian mummy on display for nearly 80 years at the Bolton Museum in the UK has been identified as a son of the pharaoh Ramesses II.
Based on hieroglyphics on its sarcophagus, the 3,000-year old mummy was believed to be a female temple dancer. But experts from York University are now 90 percent sure that the mummy is one of the 110 children Ramesses is thought to have fathered, following a CT scan that showed features indicative of the Egyptian royal family.
The new tests that were carried out showed that the mummy in question had a pronounced over-bite and misaligned eyes, just like members of the pharaoh's family.
The mummy's facial measurements were also found to be nearly identical to those of Ramesses himself.
Based on the tests, the experts now also believe that the man died in his thirties between 1295 and 1186 BC of a wasting disease, most likely to be cancer.
Chemical analysis showed that embalming of the body had been done with costly materials, including pistachio resin and thyme - the preserve of priests and royalty.
Gillian Mosely, the producer of the History Channel series Mummy Forensics said that said that the discovery was certainly a significant one.
"When the mummy was taken away for analysis we thought we were looking at a female temple dancer, we certainly didn't expect to make a significant discovery like this. It has been a very exciting and ground-breaking process," the Telegraph quoted him, as saying.
"After conducting a series of tests, including a hospital scan, we are 90 per cent sure he is a son of Ramesses, and other evidence suggests he was probably also a priest."
The experts also now believe that the mummy was placed in its existing sarcophagus years after the man's death.
They believe that it must have been moved from its original coffin either by a grave robber who stole it, or by people hoping to protect it from thieves.