London: A British granddad, who died in January this year, has become the first person in over 3,000 years to be mummified like young Egyptian King Tutankhamun.
Alan Billis, a 61-year-old taxi driver from Torquay in Devon, had volunteered his body to the bizarre experiment before his death in January from lung cancer.
His corpse was put through a variety of special techniques used by the ancient Egyptians to mummify pharaohs, according to `Mirror` daily`s online edition.
Thanks to Alan, scientists have finally worked out how kings dating back to before 1,000BC were preserved.
"I`m the only woman in the country with a mummy for a husband," Alan`s wife Jan was quoted as saying.
"I went to see him after he had been mummified, but I didn`t want them to unwrap the cloth and let me see his face in case I couldn`t cope with it.
"It was funny as I expected his body to be all stiff and hard but it was actually quite soft, and the skin sort of bounced back when you pressed it. He used to say, `I won`t be
Tutankhamun, I`ll be Tutanalan... the grandkids will be able to tell their friends their grandad`s a mummy`," she said.
The report said a team of experts, including renowned forensic pathologist Professor Peter Vanezis, mummified Alan`s body at Sheffield`s Medico Legal Centre.
They first took out his organs, sterilised his corpse and re-packed it with small bags of linen to restore its appearance. The body`s water was then removed and the skin protected with oil and beeswax.
The body was then left in a special salt bath for over a month before being dried out in a chamber to replicate the high temperature and low humidity of Egypt, the report said.
Finally it was wrapped with linen bandages in the same way as the Egyptian pharaohs - to allow drying to continue.
Jan, who was was bewildered when Alan first volunteered for the experiment which will be shown in a TV documentary, told the Radio Times: "He said, `I`ve just phoned someone up about being mummified`. I said, you`ve what? `Yes, I`ve phoned up someone about being mummified`.
"... He said, `When I`m dead, I`m dead, it doesn`t make any difference what they do to me. Besides, what they find out might do someone else some good`. He always enjoyed being the centre of attention, and the involvement in the TV programme took his mind off his illness."
Alan`s body will stay at Medico Legal Centre where it will be studied.
Egypt`s Tutankhamun died in 1323 BC at about 18 and experts think he was killed by malaria. Tutankhamun was the 11th pharaoh of Dynasty 18 of the New Kingdom in Ancient Egypt, making his mummy over 3,300 years old.
The 1922 discovery of Tutankhamun`s nearly intact tomb had received worldwide attention.