by Brigit Katz/Smithsonianmag.com
In the early 19th century, the University of Warsaw acquired an Egyptian mummy encased in an elaborate coffin identifying the deceased as a priest named Hor-Djehuty. Nearly 200 years later, in 2016, researchers using X-ray technology were surprised to discover that the mummified remains belonged not to a man, as the inscription indicated, but to an unidentified young woman. Then came another revelation: While examining images of the mummy’s pelvic area, researchers spotted a tiny foot—a sure sign that the woman was pregnant at the time of her death, reports Monika Scislowska for the Associated Press (AP).
Writing in the Journal of Archaeological Science, the team describes the find as “the only known case of an embalmed pregnant individual.”
This mummy, the scientists hope, will shed new light on pregnancy in the ancient world.
Experts with the Warsaw Mummy Project have dubbed the deceased the “mysterious lady of the National Museum in Warsaw” in honor of the Polish cultural institution where she is now housed. They do not know who the woman was or exactly where her body was discovered. Read More: