21:44 GMT15 May 2021
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    • Radiological examination of an ancient mummy, said to have been found in royal tombs in Thebes in Upper Egypt, has proved it is the body of a pregnant woman.
    • The body was carefully mummified, wrapped in fabrics, and equipped with a rich set of amulets. The body was partly robbed by antiquities dealers in the 19th century.
    • This is the first-known pregnant mummy ever discovered
    • Tomographic scanning, 3D visualisation and X-rays unveiled that the fetus in the woman’s body was between 26 and 30 weeks old. Its gender, however, has not been discerned yet.
    • The researchers say that their discovery marks “the first known case of a pregnant embalmed body.
    • Wojciech Ejsmond, a researcher from the Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures at the Polish Academy of Sciences, says it is still unknown why the fetus was not removed from the abdomen of the deceased despite her other organs being carefully removed during mummification.
    • Researchers believe that the pregnant woman came from a privileged background in the city of Thebes and died in her twenties.
    • It was only in 2016 when it was revealed that the body actually belonged to a woman.
    • The identity of the pregnant female remains a secret to archaeologists.
    • A little foot seen at the x-ray images was a starting point that led to the breakaway discovery.
    • The study has shed more light on aspects of how pregnancy was interpreted in the context of Egyptian religion and burial traditions.
    • The 2,000-year-old mummy and members of the mummy project which started in 2015.
    © Photo : B. Bajerski / The National Museum of Warsaw
    Radiological examination of an ancient mummy, said to have been found in royal tombs in Thebes in Upper Egypt, has proved it is the body of a pregnant woman.

    When the mummy first arrived in Warsaw in 1826, the remains were placed in a 1st century BCE coffin bearing the name of the priest Hor-Djehuty. It was assumed they were male, but it seems this isn't the case...

    Polish researchers from Warsaw University's mummy project have made a surprise discovery after taking scans of a mummy that's been on display at the capital's National Museum since the 19th century...and thought to be male. It turns out the person was in fact female and a "mummy" in the literal sense after the images revealed she was pregnant when she passed away. 

    Experts suggest the remains are likely of a high-status woman, aged between 20 and 30, who died during the 1st century BCE.

    However, the scientists still can't explain why the mummy, which first arrived to Poland in 1826, was placed in a 1st century BCE coffin bearing the name of the priest Hor-Djehuty. On top of that, the remains are said to have been discovered in royal tombs in Thebes in Upper Egypt in the early 19th century — which is still doubtful.

    The mummy project started in 2015 to examine artefacts housed at the museum using new technologies such as computerised topography and 3D visualisation.

    Check out Sputnik's gallery to find out more about the mysterious discovery. 

    Tags:
    Egyptian Mummy, ancient Egypt, science, Poland, Egypt
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