Researchers have discovered the world’s first known pregnant mummy, dating back a century in Egypt. This finding was unexpected, as a new study suggested that the mummy’s casket inscription belonged to a male priest.
The mummy was donated to the University of Warsaw in Poland in 1826. Most recently, archaeologists from the Warsaw Mummy Project conducted a detailed analysis of mummies while studying the National Museum in the Warsaw Animal and Human Mummy Collection.
X-ray and CT scans of the mummy revealed that the internal debris was female and did not match the case of the casket and cartonnage made for men. Researchers said the mummy was clearly not the body of a priest named Hol Jehuty from ancient Thebes, whose name was engraved on the casket.
“I was totally surprised because I was looking for an ancient illness or cause of death,” said Wojciech Ejsmond, co-director and lead author of the Warsaw Mummy Project. “I also thought this was a body [of] Priest. “
The mummy was found to be the body of a woman who died at the age of 20-30 years and was about 6.5-7.5 months pregnant, based on the fetal head circumference.
“This is the first such saved case,” Ejsmond told Live Science in an email. Previously, the skeleton of a pregnant woman was found, but no mummies were preserved in soft tissue, he said.
The scan showed four mummified bundles (probably her lungs, liver, stomach with intestines, and heart) inside the female mummies. They were extracted, embalmed and returned to the mummies’ abdominal cavity. this is, Ancient Egypt.. However, the foetation was also not removed from the uterus.
Researchers have not identified the sex of the foetation or why it was left in the womb.
Studies have hypothesized that the foetation might have been thought to be “an integral part of the mother’s body because it has not yet been born.” Babies who do not yet have a name may not have been considered as a unique individual, as ancient Egyptian beliefs believed that the name was an important part of being human.
“Therefore, that afterlife could only occur if we went to the world of hell as part of our mother,” the author writes. Another hypothesis is that a foetation of that age was difficult to extract due to the thickness and hardness of the uterus, so people who mummify the mother extract the foetation without damaging her body or the body of the foetation. It means they might not have been able to, they wrote.
Archaeologists also don’t understand why this mummy was in a male casket. However, research suggests that up to 10% of mummies were found in “wrong” caskets due to illegal excavation and looting. In addition, investigations showed damage to the mummy’s neck wrapping. This may be due to a robber who may have stolen the amulet.
The author calls her “the mysterious woman of the National Museum in Warsaw” because there are still many unclear points about her. “Her mummies are a good example of embalming skills in ancient Egypt, thus suggesting her high social status,” the author writes. According to research, she was also buried in a “rich set” of amulets.
It’s not clear why she died. “High mortality during pregnancy and childbirth at the time is not a secret,” Ejsmond said. Talked to Polish science.. “Therefore, we believe that pregnancy can somehow contribute to the death of young women.”
The team is currently trying to determine the cause of death by analyzing a small sample of blood stored in the soft tissue of the mummy.
This discovery “provides direct evidence of ancient prenatal health,” Ejsmond told Live Science. “We can do comparative studies with modern cases and look for traces of ancient medical procedures to study the history of medicine.”
Survey results were released on April 28 Archaeological Journal..
Originally published in Live Science.
First Known Pregnant Mummy Discovered | Live Science
Source link First Known Pregnant Mummy Discovered | Live Science