Egyptian mummy found to be pregnant woman, not priest
WARSAW, Poland (AP) – Polish researchers examining an ancient Egyptian mummy they believed to be a male priest were surprised when x-rays and computer tests revealed it was instead the mummy of a pregnant woman seven months.
Researchers said Thursday it was the world’s first known case of such a well-preserved ancient mummy of a pregnant woman.
The mummy arrived in Warsaw in 1826 and the inscription on the coffin named a male priest. No review until the current one refuted the belief it was male.
“Our first surprise was that he didn’t have a penis, but had breasts and long hair, and then we found out she was a pregnant woman,” Marzena Ozarek told The Associated Press. -Szilke, anthropologist and archaeologist. “When we saw the little foot and then the little hand (of the fetus), we were really shocked”
They estimated the woman to be between 20 and 30 years old and said the size of the baby’s skull suggested she was 26 to 28 weeks pregnant.
Their Warsaw Mummy Project findings on years of testing this and other mummy at the National Museum in Warsaw were published this week in the Journal of Archaeological Science.
“This is our most important and significant discovery to date, a total surprise,” Wojciech Ejsmond, member of the Polish Academy of Sciences team, told AP. “This opens up opportunities for learning about pregnancy and treating complications in ancient times.”
Researchers say that the excellent quality of the embalming suggests that it could have been done long before the first century BC, as it is dated today.