Why did the Egyptians make mud cocoons for mummies

(ORDO NEWS) — In February 2021, archaeologists studying an ancient Egyptian mummy found it covered in a “mud shell”. This is an extremely rare find, as such a “cocoon” has not previously been documented in Egyptian archaeological records.

The mummies of members of the royal family were covered with resin. The resin was expensive and extremely rare, so some may have had to look for an alternative. This alternative is dirt

Mummies from the late New Kingdom up to the 21st Dynasty of Egypt (1294-945 B.C.) that were previously found by archaeologists sometimes contained a shell of hard resin. However, according to the latest study published in the journal PLOS ONE , for the first time, scientists have found a mummy wrapped in mud.

Back in 1999, a CT scan found something strange inside this sarcophagus. Later scans and analysis revealed that the mummy was wrapped in a strange “shell”.

The inscription on the sarcophagus indicates that this mummy is a titled woman named Merua. Her body (left knee and lower leg) were damaged under “unknown circumstances” after burial. A new study suggests the remains once belonged to a woman between the ages of 26 and 35, but the rest of her biography remains a mystery.

One of the theories behind the “mud mummy” is that it is an example of “imitation of the elites” – a cheap alternative to the expensive resin shells that “shrouded” members of the royal family.

Why did the Egyptians make mud cocoons for mummies 2

According to the researchers, the mud shell is “a new addition to our understanding of ancient Egyptian mummification.”

Scientists believe that other mummies that do not belong to the royal family could have similar shells. It is possible that some burials analyzed using computed tomography were incorrectly identified.

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