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Pharaohs were often overweight

 
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Keen
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2021 10:23 am    Post subject: Pharaohs were often overweight Reply with quote

Egyptian art often depicts pharaohs as handsome, good-looking people. In reality, it was a bit different - their diet consisting of beer, wine, bread, and honey was rich in sugar, which could have affected their figures. Studies of mummies have shown that many rulers of Egypt were overweight and suffered from diabetes. An interesting example is a ruler Hatshepsut, who was depicted as slim and athletic - according to historians, she was actually obese and bald.
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karnsculpture
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2021 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hatchepsut is a poor example to pick. Its acknowledged that most of her depictions are innacurate as they show her as a man. She lived until what we would now call late middle age. Like many people she may have been slimmer at the start of her reign. She was very ill towards the end of her life which may have led to mobility problems, leading to weight gain.

Amenhotep III was obese in depictions from late in his reign, confirmed by his mummy. Again though you have an individual who lived a long life, so depictions as slim and obese are probably both accurate depending on when they were commissioned.

You also have kings who were depicted as fit and muscular when their mummies show old, emaciated men with bad backs (Ramesses II, Merneptah, Tuthmosis IV who was young but evidently had some kind of wasting disease). Again, they were probably fit when they came to the throne.

Later on you have Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II Tryphon, nicknamed Physcon (= fatty), depicted as such.

So I would argue that the portraits were not always that far divorced from reality if you consider lifespan and how people often change over time. Yes though, they were in a position to eat or drink whatever they wanted.
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