Abstract An ancient Egyptian mummy skull from the Zoological Collection Marburg, Germany, was examined using computer assisted tomography. In this skull (referred to as Mummy skull no. 24) of a man who lived circa 50 BC we found three of his teeth in the cranial cavity. They had been retained after their loss caused by periodontal disease, and were inserted into the cranial cavity via a trans-sphenoidal hole, probably during the process of mummification.
In this article we describe the reasons for the loss of these three teeth and consider possible motivations for this extraordinary conservation. We believe this is the first time such a procedure has been reported. It is discussed in an historical-religious context, emphasizing the mythological background.
Furthermore, the medico-pharmaceutical methods to cure periodontal disease are described with reference to the ancient Egyptian medical papyrus Ebers – in the case of Mummy skull no. 24 one of the causes of loss of teeth.
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