Ramesses II or Ramesses the Great (c.1300s- 1213 B.C.)
The pharaoh’s mummy reveals a hooked nose and strong jaw, and stands at some 1.7 metres (5 ft 7 in).His ultimate successor was his thirteenth son, Merneptah.
In Paris, it was found that Ramesses’s mummy was being attacked by fungus, which it was treated for. During the examination, scientific analysis revealed battle wounds and old fractures, as well as the pharaoh’s arthritis and poor circulation.
Egyptologists were also interested by the mummy’s noticeably thin neck. An X-ray revealed that the neck had a piece of wood lodged into the upper chest, essentially keeping the head in place. It is believed that during the mummification process the head had accidentally been knocked off by those performing the mummification. In Egyptian culture if any part of the body were to come off, the soul of the body would not continue to exist in the afterlife, so those performing the mummification carefully placed the head back and lodged a wooden stick into the neck in order to keep the head in place.
It is believed that Ramesses II was essentially crippled with arthritis and walked with a hunched back for the last decades of his life. A recent study excluded ankylosing spondylitis as a possible cause of the pharaoh’s arthritis. A significant hole in the pharaoh’s mandible was detected. Researchers observed “an abscess by his teeth (which) was serious enough to have caused death by infection, although this cannot be determined with certainty.” Microscopic inspection of the roots of Ramesses II’s hair proved that the king’s hair was originally red, which suggests that he came from a family of redheads. This has more than just cosmetic significance: in ancient Egypt people with red hair were associated with the god Seth, the slayer of Osiris, and the name of Ramesses II’s father, Seti I, means “follower of Seth.” After Ramesses’s mummy returned to Egypt it was visited by President Anwar Sadat and his wife.