Researchers in Poland found something surprising in the middle of their latest Egyptian mummy project; one of them was a mommy to be. The remains of a woman in her 20’s, discovered in the 1800s in the Royal Tombs of Thebes and on display in the National Museum in Warsaw, is one of the first subjects of the Warsaw Mummy Project. The Polish Academy of Sciences is using advanced scanning technology to find out more about mummies in museums around the world.
There aren’t any other pregnant mummies…as far as we know. The researchers can’t say why the fetus was left inside the woman and not mummified separately, but one theory is that the ancient Egyptians thought that, since it was too young to have a name, it needed to travel to the afterlife inside its mother.
Dr. Wojciech Ejsmond is excited about the find, saying it provides the possibility to study pregnancy in ancient times, and that scientists can study what’s in the intestines of the 26-to-30-week-old fetus to find out more about “the development of the immune system in ancient times.”