A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America
Pregnancy Detected in Ancient Egyptian Mummy
Friday, April 30, 2021
WARSAW, POLAND—The AFP reports that X-rays of a 2,000-year-old Egyptian mummy held at Poland’s National Museum since 1917 revealed the remains of a woman with long, curly hair who was between 26 and 30 weeks pregnant at the time of her death. “We do not know why the fetus was not taken out of the belly of the deceased during mummification,” said Wojciech Ejsmond of the Polish Academy of Sciences. “That is why this mummy is truly unique. We have not been able to find any similar cases.” The mummy was thought to be the remains of a male priest who lived between the first century B.C. and the first century A.D., based upon hieroglyphs on the sarcophagus where the mummy was kept. The researchers will now attempt to date the remains and find a possible cause of the woman’s death. To read about more than 100 mummy coffins discovered in Egypt's Saqqara necropolis, go to "Mummy Cache," one of ARCHAEOLOGY's Top 10 Discoveries of 2020.
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