A computer tomography scan of two ancient Egyptian mummies that was conducted at the Rambam Hospital in Haifa yielded a peculiar find when scientists finally learned what was hidden inside, Live Science reports.
While the mummies, both of them interred in sarcophagi, have been kept at Haifa Museum for some 50 years, Ron Hillel, registrar and head of collection management at Haifa Museums, told the media outlet that "records were not kept as diligently as they are now", so apparently the only thing known about the mummies for certain is that they're over 2,000 years old.
The CT scans revealed that one of the mummies, human-shaped and about 45 centimeters long, designed to look like the ancient Egyptian god Osiris, contained “mud and grains”.
"During Osiris festivals that were held, [the ancient Egyptians] would produce these," Hillel said. "It would be a mixture of a clay or sand with these grains, and then they would dip it in water and the grains would germinate."
The other mummy, bird-shaped, about 25 centimeters long and apparently representing the ancient Egyptian god Horus, turned out to be holding “the remains of a bird, possibly a falcon, that is missing a body part and several organs”, according to the media outlet.
Dr. Marcia Javitt, chairperson of radiology at Rambam Hospital in Haifa who helped scan the mummies, remarked that the objects of their study are "not real mummies; they're artifacts."
Hillel also revealed that the museum may establish a special exhibit centered around the two mummies which he hopes to have carbon dated in order to finally ascertain their true age.