They thought it was a priest, but it turned out to be the only known Egyptian mummy of a pregnant woman.
Their findings were revealed Thursday in an article published in the Journal of Archaeological Sciences.
The mummy was discovered by a team of Polish researchers from the Warsaw Mummies Project, which began in 2015 and uses modern technology to examine pieces housed in the National Museum in Warsaw.
Tests conducted using the scanner revealed that she was not a religious woman, but a woman in the advanced stages of pregnancy.
Experts involved in the project believe that the remains may have belonged to a woman of high status, between 20 and 30 years old, who died in the first century BC.
“This is the only known example of a mummified pregnant woman and the first radiological images of a fetus,” they wrote in an article in the magazine announcing the result.
Using the circumference of the fetus’ head, they estimated it was between 26 and 30 weeks of development when the mother died of unknown causes.
“This is the most important and important discovery so far, a complete surprise,” Wojciech Egzmond, a team member from the Polish Academy of Sciences, told the Associated Press.
Inside the mummy’s abdominal cavity, four packages were found believed to be wrapped and mummified organs, but scientists say the embryo has not been removed from the womb.
The scientists said it was not clear why the fetus was not removed and embalmed separately, but they speculated that it could be due to spiritual beliefs about the afterlife or physical difficulties removing the fetus.
‘The Mysterious Lady’
Researchers on the Mummy Project have dubbed the woman “the mysterious lady” at the National Museum in Warsaw because of conflicting accounts of her origins.
They say that the remains of the mummy were first donated to the University of Warsaw in 1826. The donor claimed that the mummy was found in the royal tombs at Thebes, but researchers say that in the nineteenth century it was common for relics to be falsely attributed to famous places in order to increase Its worth.
The inscriptions on the sarcophagus and the delicate sarcophagus led twentieth century experts to believe that a mummy inside it belonged to a priest named Hor Jahouti.
But scientists now, having identified her as a woman using scanners, believe the mummy was placed in the wrong coffin by antique dealers in the 19th century, when looting and repackaging of remains was not uncommon.
Experts describe the mummy as “well preserved” but say that the damage to the neck covers indicates that at some point it may have been tampered with to obtain valuable items.
Experts say at least 15 items, including a “rich array” of mummy-shaped amulets, have been found inside the scrolls.
Marzina Urik-Zelke, one of the researchers on the project, told the Polish state news agency that her husband first saw what appeared to be a “small foot” on a scanner.
He added that the team of experts hoped to study small amounts of tissue later to determine the cause of the woman’s death.
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BBC-NEWS-SRC: https://www.bbc.com/mundo/noticias-56935478, import date: 2021-04-29 21:40:05