(ORDO NEWS) — Ancient Egypt is famous for its mummies, which are usually wrapped in bandages. However, in early 2021, a team of Australian archaeologists, led by Karin Sovada of the Department of History and Archeology at Macquarie University, discovered a unique mummy of a woman covered in a clay “shell” in an Egyptian sarcophagus.
The woman’s name and cause of death are unknown, but it is established that after she left the world of the living around 1200 BC. e., she was wrapped in cloth, placed in a coffin (most likely wooden) and buried.
Some time after the burial of the unknown, something (for example, an earthquake) or someone (for example, a thief) disturbed the grave, damaging the body.
Then someone tried to restore the body by placing it in a clay shell. None of the scientists know exactly why clay was chosen when resin was usually applied over bandages.
However, there is a very plausible theory suggesting that the deceased came from a poor family that did not have enough funds for a reliable burial, and even more so for the subsequent restoration of the body.
The authors of the discovery note that in the literature on the archeology of Ancient Egypt there is no mention of such a practice of preserving mummified bodies, so this find expands our knowledge and burial practices in the era of the New Kingdom (1550-1069 BC).
As for the wooden sarcophagus, which is shown in the photo above, it was created many centuries after the death of an unknown woman.
The mummy was placed in a sarcophagus by antiquities dealers who wanted to give the clay shell a more “presentable” look and make money.
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