April 30 2021 Polish researchers have re-scanned an ancient Egyptian mummy and found it to be a woman seven months pregnant, the Guardian reported Thursday. Researchers say it is the world’s first known well-preserved ancient maternal mummy.
The mummy was brought to Warsaw, Poland, in 1826, the researchers said. The hieroglyphics on the sarcophagus were originally thought to be a male priest who lived from the 1st century BC to the 1st century AD.
Anthropologist and archaeologist Marzena Silk said researchers found the mummy was a woman through X-rays and computer tests. To their great shock, they saw the baby’s small feet and hands and decided that it was a pregnant woman’s mummy.
The researchers estimated that the woman was between the ages of 20 and 30 and was 26 to 28 weeks pregnant. The mummy has not yet been opened, but scans showed the pregnant woman had curly hair hanging over her shoulders. The researchers believe it may be older than previously thought, and the cause of death is still under study.