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Unknown Man 'E' Unknown Man 'E', found with the royal mummies in the Dier el-Bahri cache, is buried with such an horror-filled look on his face and in such a strange manner, that many believe that he was sacrificed and buried with the pharaohs. The Unknown Man 'E' is a man in his early 20s, his face seeming to silently scream. His coffin was white and undecorated, yet it was made from cedar wood, an expensive commodity in ancient Egypt. He was unwrapped by Dr. Fouquet and M. Mathey in 1886, and discovered to have some unusual features for an Egyptian burial. He had been wrapped in white sheepskin, which Herodotus had said was ritually unclean to the ancient Egyptians. Dylan Bickerstaffe, who wrote an analysis on Unknown Man 'E' in KMT Magazine, pointed out that no other Dynastic burial had been found where sheepskin was used to shroud the body. Under the sheepskin was a layer of bandages, then a layer of natron-soaked bandages. When he was unwrapped, his body fat, which has been absorbed by the natron, emitted a putrid stench. The bandages were of high quality, yet they had been wrapped and knotted around his wrists, upper arms and lower legs so tightly that it imprinted his body. Under the bandages, his skin was coated with a very thick layer of natron, crushed resin, and lime - quicklime. His body still had his internal organs in place, as was the rest of his body. Even his gold earrings were still in place. One of the popular theories is that because of the oddities in the burial, is that Unknown Man 'E' had been buried alive as punishment during the 18th or 19th Dynasty. Another theory is that he had been prepared and 'mummified' by non-Egyptians who were not familiar with the Egyptian mummification process: The use of calcium oxide seems to point toward an ancient Greek influence. In Greek, the word "sarcophagus" means "flesh eater" and was used to designate the large stone receptacles filled with quicklime in which corpses were placed. Much more harsh in its desiccating properties than natural Egyptian natron, this chemical would have been avoided by Egyptian embalmers who wanted to preserve rather than destroy the tissues of the body. The Greeks who used this method of treating corpses mistakenly believed that Egyptian sarcophagi were employed for the same purpose ... Bickerstaffe points out that the Hyksos were buried with sheep, and that the Tale of Sinhue describes "Asiatics" as being buried wrapped in sheepskins. This again indicates that Unknown Man E was probably "embalmed" in a foreign country where sheepskins were cured and employed in a funereal context. -- The Strange Case of Unknown Man E, W. Miller

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