Forensic scientists have reconstructed the face of the world’s first pregnant ancient Egyptian mummy.
The mummified woman, known as the “mysterious lady”, was analyzed last year by a team of Polish researchers who found signs of a fetus in her stomach.
They believe she died about 2,000 years ago when she was 28 weeks pregnant, and she was probably in her 20s or 30s.
Now experts have used her skull and other remains to create two images showing what she looked like when she was alive in the first century BC.
“Our bones, and in particular the skull, provide a lot of information about a person’s face,” says Chantal Milani, an Italian forensic anthropologist and member of the Warsaw Mummy Project. proportions that will appear at the butt.The face covering the skeleton is subject to different anatomical rules, so standard procedures for its reconstruction can be applied, for example, to determine the shape of the nose.The most important element is the reconstruction of the thickness of the soft tissues at many points on the surface of the bones of the face. To do this, we have statistics for different populations around the world.”
It is said that the mysterious lady was found in the royal tombs in Thebes, Upper Egypt, and belonged to the elite of Theban society.
Her mummy was discovered in the early nineteenth century and dates back to the first century BC, a time when Cleopatra was queen and Thebes was a beehive.
The mummy was moved from Egypt to Warsaw in December 1826, around the time of some of Egypt’s most important finds in the Valley of the Kings.
Although initially thought to be the remains of a priest, Hor Djehoti, the mummy was discovered in 2016 as a mummified woman.
Her body was carefully wrapped in a tarpaulin and left with a rich collection of amulets to see her in the afterlife.
“Mummification was an expression of interest in preserving someone in the afterlife,” the Warsaw Mummy Project wrote on Facebook.
The mummy is believed to be the first known mummified specimen containing an embryo and is currently on display at the National Museum in Warsaw.
Two forensic experts, along with researchers from the University of Warsaw, wanted to “humanize” the mummy, using 2D and 3D techniques to reconstruct her face.
Forensic artist Hugh Morrison said: “Facial reconstruction is primarily used in forensic science to help identify the body when more common identification methods such as fingerprint recognition or DNA analysis do not work.
Reconstructing a person’s face from their skull is often seen as a last resort in an attempt to establish their identity.
It can also be used in an archaeological and historical context to show how ancient or famous figures of the past may have come to life.
The Warsaw Mummy Project experts were unable to determine why the fetus was not removed and embalmed on its own, as was the case with other cases of stillborn children.
Researchers from the Polish Academy of Sciences published an article in 2021 about how their research showed that the mummy was pregnant.
However, an unusual row broke out between the team in August, with several members questioning the outcome.
They argued that what appeared to be a fetus on x-rays and CT scans was actually the result of “computer misinterpretation and misinterpretation.”
Instead of having a baby, they think it’s “mummified organs” in a woman’s stomach.
Kamilla Praulinska, co-founder of the Warsaw Mummy Project, said the original study “was not a sound scientific study”, while radiologist Łukasz Konaki and conservationists Dorota Ignatowicz and Winakowska also questioned the study.
But two participants in the project denied these accusations. They said: “The Warsaw Mummy project team does not confirm this information. The mummy is pregnant.”
From the position of the fetus and how the birth canal closed, the researchers were able to determine that the mysterious woman did not die in childbirth.
And in July, it was revealed that the embalmed woman likely died of nasopharyngeal cancer, a rare cancer that affects part of the throat.
Researchers at the Warsaw Mummy Project were scanning the skull of an ancient corpse when they found unusual signs in the bones that suggested cancer.
Source: Daily Mail