(ORDO NEWS) — In 2021, archaeologists unveiled an incredible discovery: an ancient Egyptian mummy of a pregnant woman. Now scientists have found out why the fetus inside it is so well preserved.
The researchers concluded that the fetus was preserved like a “bog body”. Bog people (bog bodies) – completely or partially preserved human remains, naturally mummified in a very acidic and low-oxygen environment of a peat bog
Researchers have unveiled the incredible discovery of the first known pregnant Egyptian mummy. Scientists used CT scans to look deeper inside this unique mummy.
How did a fetus in a mummy’s womb stay intact for over 2,000 years? In a study published in the Journal of Archaeological Science , scientists concluded that the fruit was “marinated”. This was due to the oxidation of the woman’s body as she decomposed.
Human blood pH naturally drops dramatically after death, becoming much more acidic, while ammonia and formic acid concentrations increase over time. In addition, the fetus is hermetically sealed inside the uterus and practically does not receive oxygen.
A similar process of natural mummification occurs in peat bogs, where the highly acidic environment “pickles” the soft tissues but demineralizes the bones. That is why the fetus was perfectly preserved on the outside, but almost lost its bones.
“The fetus remained in the untouched uterus and began, let’s say, to “pickle”. It’s not the most aesthetic comparison, but it conveys the idea, ” says a Warsaw Mummy Project blog post .
This mummy remains the only known pregnant mummy and raises more questions than scientists can currently answer. Why was the mummy fetus left behind while the other organs were removed? How rare was this practice? And what did this mean for the ancient Egyptians in terms of religion?
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