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World’s First Pregnant Egyptian Mummy Discovered, Pics Showing Foetus Released

Archaeologists from the Warsaw Mummy Project examine the mummy, previously thought to be a priest.
Archaeologists from the Warsaw Mummy Project examine the mummy, previously thought to be a priest.

According to the Archaeologists studying Warsaw’s national collection of mummies expected to uncover a male priest. The polish researchers examining an ancient Egyptian mummy that they expected to be a male priest were surprised when X-rays and computer tests revealed instead that it was a mummy of a woman who had been seven months pregnant.

The mummy may have been in the wrong tomb, archaeologists believe.
The mummy may have been in the wrong tomb, archaeologists believe.

Image Source: Warsaw Mummy Project

The researchers said on Thursday it was the world’s first known case of such a well-preserved ancient mummy of a pregnant woman.The mummy was brought to Warsaw in 1826 and the inscription on the coffin named a male priest. No previous examination had disproved the belief that it was a male.

“Our first surprise was that it has no penis, but instead it has breasts and long hair, and then we found out that it’s a pregnant woman,” Marzena Ozarek-Szilke, an anthropologist and archeologist, told the Associated Press. “When we saw the little foot and then the little hand of the foetus we were really shocked.”

A scan of the mummy revealed that a fetus was still in place in the womb.
A scan of the mummy revealed that a fetus was still in place in the womb.

Image Source: Warsaw Mummy Project

“This is the first known case of a pregnant embalmed body … It opens up new possibilities of researching pregnancy in ancient times and practices related to maternity,” the article said.

Team member Wojciech Ejsmond said: “We do not know why the foetus was not taken out of the belly of the deceased during mummification.

Archaeologists from the Warsaw Mummy Project examine the mummy, previously thought to be a priest.
Archaeologists from the Warsaw Mummy Project examine the mummy, previously thought to be a priest.

Image Source: Warsaw Mummy Project

“That is why this mummy is truly unique. We have not been able to find any similar cases. This means that ‘our’ mummy is the only recognised in the world with a foetus,” he said.

Based on an analysis of the hieroglyphs on the sarcophagus, the mummy was originally thought to be of a male priest who lived between the 1st century BC and the 1st century AD.

Scientists now believe it could be even older than that, and are looking into the possible causes of death.

Source: The Guardian

Written by Kane Dan

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