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“Unkown Man E,” informally known as “the screaming man,” is a mummy bearing a particularly frightening appearance, with his face distorted and lurching backwards as though crying out in pain during his final moments. One of the great mysteries of this peculiar looking mummy, apart from the riddle of his identity, is what led to his ghastly appearance, and eventual demise.
Brier believes the mummy may be the body of Egyptian prince Pentawer of the 20th dynasty, one of Ramesses III’s sons, who according to Judicial Papyrus on record, was forced into suicide by ingestion of poisons due to his involvement with a conspiracy plot is mother, Tiye, may have initiated. During the 20th Dynasty, a member of royalty might have been given an option of suicide in this manner, following a conviction of this sort, which may normally entail being burned alive as punishment.
Could it indeed be that the willful ingestion of poison by “The Screaming Man” is truly what led to his ghastly appearance in the afterlife?
Because of his contorted expression, some scientists have speculated that unknown man E was poisoned or buried alive. The new analysis did not provide a more conclusive cause of death, but they did find that his lungs were overinflated, which could be a sign of death by suffocation or strangulation, perhaps consistent with a suicide.