In world first, Polish scientists discover pregnant Egyptian mummy

Margie Jones
08/09/2023
   Polish archaeologists studying a national collection of ancient artefacts say they have discovered the world’s first embalmed pregnant Egyptian mummy.
Researchers Marzena Ożarek-Szilke, Kamila Braulińska and Wojciech Ejsmond during a press conference in Warsaw.
Researchers Marzena Ożarek-Szilke, Kamila Braulińska and Wojciech Ejsmond during a press conference in Warsaw.Photo: PAP/Jacek Turczyk

The mummy, which was donated to Warsaw’s National Museum in 1826, was previously thought to be a male priest.

Researchers at the Warsaw Mummy Project, who since 2015 have been examining the national collection, discovered that it was in fact a woman who was seven months pregnant.

In an article announcing the find, published on Thursday in the Journal of Archaeological Science, the Polish team wrote: “This is the first known case of a pregnant embalmed body.”

They added: “It opens up new possibilities of researching pregnancy in ancient times and practices related to maternity.”

Experts from the project believe the woman was most likely between 20 and 30 years old and died during the first century BC.

“We do not know why the foetus was not taken out of the belly of the deceased woman during mummification,” one of the researchers, Wojciech Ejsmond, was cited as saying by Polish state news agency PAP.

Unprecedented discovery of Egyptian mummy remains - EgyptToday

“That is why this mummy is truly unique. We have not been able to find any similar cases,” he added.

Scientists claim discovering first pregnant Egyptian mummy - World -  DAWN.COM

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