The "pregnant" mummy showed signs of cancer

The "pregnant" mummy showed signs of cancer

According to new analyses, the mysterious mummy of an ancient Egyptian woman who was probably pregnant at the time of her death may also have been suffering from cancer.

Sealed in the sarcophagus of a priest named Khor-Jehuti, the mummy was probably brought from the ancient Egyptian city of Phiwa . First discovered the sarcophagus a few years ago, researchers at Warsaw University in Poland were surprised to find that the remains were not male but female, and she died between the ages of 20 and 30 in the first century B.C.

We still don't know who she was, but the analysis of her remains has revealed several surprises.

Young woman probably pregnant.

Called "The Mystery Lady", this woman was apparently pregnant at the time of her death, and based on the circle of the head of the fruit, the sex of which was not determined, in April 2021, researchers assumed that the young mother was 6.5 to 7.5 months pregnant.

When the child is removed, embalmed, and then put back into the body, the fruit is left as it is.

However, some experts are not entirely sure that the woman was actually pregnant, arguing that this fossilized fruit could in fact be a "deformed embalming bag" placed in the body to replace organs removed during the mutation process.

The traces of an ancient tumor?

Most recently, the same Polish research team found that this woman also probably had nossoapal cancer.

These new allegations are based on a seven-millimeter hole behind the left eye of the 3-D reconstructed mummy skull. This anomaly may indicate the presence of an ancient tumor. It is also possible that the hole was left cyst or caused by cribra orbitalia, a condition caused by anaemia or iron deficiency.

However, researchers have also found several additional deformations in the nasal bones, jaws and pasus, which suggest that cancer is the most likely cause.

To try to find out more, researchers plan to conduct histopathological studies similar to those currently used to detect cancer on the traces of soft tissue that still hold onto some of these bones. The team expects to have a final result by the end of the year.

If the discovery is confirmed, it may prove that cancer has finally prevailed over this young woman, but again, it is difficult to say for sure, and it is also possible that the pregnancy played a role in her death.

Finally, archaeologists are still wondering why this mummy was in a man's coffin. Note that this case is not unprecedented. In fact, up to 10% mummies can be found in the wrong coffin due to looting in recent centuries.