The discovery was announced in the latest issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science. At first, it was believed that he was a priest
Polish scientists said on Thursday that they had discovered a pregnant Egyptian mummy, the first in this state in the world, while taking X-rays from your 2,000-year-old remains at the National Museum of Warsaw.
“My husband Stanislaw, an Egyptologist, and I, when examining the radiographic images, noticed in the womb of the deceased a familiar image to the parents of three children: a little foot!”, He told reporters Marzena Ozarek-Szilke, anthropologist and archaeologist at the University of Warsaw. “We don’t know why the fetus was not removed from the deceased’s uterus during mummification“, he pointed Wojciech Ejsmond, gives Academy of Sciences Polish, who is also involved in the project.
“This mummy is truly unique. We did not find similar cases. This means that ‘our’ mummy is the only one found in the world with a fetus.“Inside, he indicated. Ozarek-Szilke presented the hypothesis that there was an intention to “hiding the pregnancy (…) or, perhaps, it had a certain meaning linked to beliefs about rebirth in the afterlife”.
According to the study of the hieroglyphs inscribed on the sarcophagus, at first the mummy was considered to be that of a priest who lived between the 1st century BC. C. and the 1st century d. Ç. Scientists, however, now believe he may be even older and are trying to discover the possible cause of his death.
The mummy was not opened, but one of the radiographs shows that the woman had long, curly hair., which went down to his shoulders. They estimate that the woman was between 20 and 30 years old when she died and that, due to the size of the baby’s skull, she was between 26 and 28 weeks pregnant.
“At first we were surprised to see that she had no penis and instead had breasts and long hair. We later found out that she was a pregnant woman“, He said Ozarek-Szilke for The Associated Press. “When we saw the little foot and the little hand (of the fetus) we were stunned”.
This discovery was announced in the latest edition of Journal of Archaeological Science, a magazine reviewed by a committee of experts.
“It is the first known case of an embalmed body of a pregnant woman (…) This opens new possibilities for research on pregnancy in antiquity and practices related to motherhood.”, Says the article. The mummy was brought to Poland in the 19th century and is part of the collection of antiques from the University of Warsaw.
It has been in the National Museum since 1917 and is on display in the sarcophagus.
(With information from AFP and AP) .-