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NEWS: The mummified FOETUS: Scans reveal tiny ancient Egyptian sarcophagus contains the remains of a 16-week-old embryo

20140510-180229.jpgA CT scan has revealed what appears to be a foetus, pictured, in the centre of a tiny Egyptian mummy. The majority of the interior is taken up by folded strips of material. Within this material is a darker area, about 3-inches (10cm) long, that researchers claim is a foetus, in the foetal position with the placental sac (Source: The Daily Mail).

“For more than 40 years, mystery has surrounded a tiny mummy that lay among exhibits at an Egypt centre in Wales.

Experts were so baffled by its unusually small size and its delicate design that some even suggested it was a fake, created in the 19th century.

Now CT scans have revealed not only is the case a genuine Egyptian artefact, it contains the rare remains of a mummified foetus thought to have been just 12 weeks into development when it died.

The 20-inch (52cm) mummy is part of the Wellcome collection at Swansea University’s Egypt Centre and is thought to date back to the 26th Dynasty – around 600BC.

On 28 April, Swansea University’s Paola Griffiths from the Clinical Imaging College of Medicine analysed the artefacts using a CT scanner.

This revealed the majority of the interior of the case is taken up by folded strips of material, thought to be linen bandages.

Within these bandages is a darker area, about 3-inches (10cm) long, that the researchers claim is a foetus, in the foetal position with the placental sac.

Experts also identified what could be the foetus’ femur.

The length of the femur, together with the size of the dark patch, is consistent with that of a foetus 12 to 16 weeks into development, continued the researchers.

Another dark patch suggests an amulet was also placed in the case, and and there are several areas with dark circles resembling strings of beads or tassels.

The Egypt Centre said it was not unusual for strings of beads to be placed loose in mummy wrappings of this date.

The mummy, officially known as W1013, arrived in Wales in 1971, but nothing is known about how Henry Wellcome acquired it” – via The Daily Mail.

Read more here.

Amazing! And in my university’s own Egyptian museum!

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One comment on “NEWS: The mummified FOETUS: Scans reveal tiny ancient Egyptian sarcophagus contains the remains of a 16-week-old embryo

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