A mummy found a hundred years ago in Giza, Egypt is the youngest Egyptian mummy ever found. The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England, believes that the discovered mummy – a mummified foetus is estimated to be 16 to 18 weeks old.
The mummy, with arms crossed on the chest, is a foot and a half long. It rests in a small cedar coffin and is currently sitting at a British museum.
“It is a perfect miniature example of a wooden coffin of the ancient Egyptian Late Period, dating from 664-525 BC. The lid and box are both made from cedar wood,” the museum said.
It was unearthed in 1907 by the British School of Archaeology. The same year it was collected by the museum. It has been sleeping dead for more than 2500 years, reports Discovery News.
Julie Dawson, head of conservation at the museum, said the foetus is a remarkable discovery that gives an insight of the conventional evidence of “how the children viewed in the ancient Egyptian society”.
“The care taken in the preparation of this burial clearly demonstrates the value placed on life even in the first weeks of its inception,” Dawson said in a report by Fox News.
Before the revelation, until now, it was believed that the coffin had mummified remains of internal organs removed during the mummification of bodies.
Since the mummy was wrapped in resins and bandages, the museum asked the Cambridge University’s Department of Zoology to CT scan the remains. It turned out that the foetus’s skull and pelvis were collapsed. It had five digits on both hands and feet and the long bones of the legs and arms.
“From the micro-CT scan, it is noticeable that the foetus has its arms crossed over its chest. This, coupled with the intricacy of the tiny coffin and its decoration, are clear indications of the importance and time given to this burial in Egyptian society,” the museum said in a report by Stuff.co.nz.
“This discovery is the only academically verified specimen to exist at only sixteen to eighteen weeks of gestation,” the museum said.
The gender of the foetus is still unclear but its inner condition reveals that it was miscarried.