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Researchers working at Maidstone Museum in the United Kingdom have conducted a series Computerized Tomography (CT) scans at the Kent Institute of Medicine and Surgery (KIMS) on a number of mummies in their collection. Among the results, the experts received an incredible surprise when they found that a tiny Egyptian mummy which was believed to contain the preserved remains of a bird actually turned out to be a human baby.
Mummy CT scans find that presumed mummified bird is actually a baby
“Following the scans at KIMS Hospital, the remains were in fact revealed to be the mummy of a baby, ” said Samantha Harris, the Collections Manager at Maidstone Museum. After reviewing the findings, the researchers estimate on a preliminary basis that the mother of the baby had miscarried at approximately twenty weeks gestation. If this estimate is proven to be correct, this would make the Maidstone mummy the youngest of all human mummies recorded anywhere in the world.
According to Harris, without the CT scan this discovery would not have been possible. “Without access to the technology, identifying and learning about the baby mummy would’ve been impossible without causing irreversible damage from unwrapping, ” said Harris.
Rumours and speculation are already proliferating about the potential origins of the baby, with one of the most popular theories being that the baby was the love child of a pharaoh. However, representatives from Maidstone Museum have said that there is no evidence to support this theory. In a statement they said; “Additional research and conservation will be undertaken in order to respect and care for the baby as a person, maintaining the highest standards of ethical responsibility for the preservation of human remains.”
The CT scan investigations also concerned another mummy named Ta-Kush and according to Harris, this scan also produced some ‘remarkable’ discoveries. “Not only did we find evidence of fully erupted wisdom teeth to help us identify that her age was probably much higher than was first thought, but also that there was evidence of a wedge fracture in one of her vertebrae – a symptom of patients suffering a downward impact such as a fall.” It was previously thought that Ta-Kush was around fourteen years old when she died but now the evidence suggests that she was in her mid-twenties. Experts working at Liverpool John Moore’s University are working in conjunction with the museum on this particular mummy and are hopeful that they will soon be able to reconstruct her face.
The final CT scan investigation produced the most perplexing of all of the discoveries. An ancient Egyptian ram’s horn plugged with mummy linen was also scanned at KIMS Hospital where it was discovered that it was stuffed with items dating from the nineteenth century including a necklace and some buttons. “The reason for this remains a mystery, and further research will be undertaken as to why this might have been used as a form of container, ” said a representative from Maidstone Museum.
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