Unraveling the mystery of Egypt’s child mummy

In 1911, archaeologists uncovered the mummified remains of a five-year-old girl in Hawara, Egypt.

The unique mummy was wrapped along with a portrait of the girl, yet until now, very little has been known about the child.

Now, 106 years after the mummy was found, researchers have used an innovative X-ray scanning technique that is helping to piece together her story.

The scans have shed light on a number of mysteries, including how her body was prepared 1,900 years ago, what items she was buried with, and the cause of her death.

Researchers from Northwestern University have been working to unravel some of the mysteries of the mummy girl, known as the Garrett mummy.

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As part of the comprehensive investigation, the researchers used an X-ray scattering technique – marking the first time this method has been used on a human mummy.

Professor Stuart Stock, lead author of the study, said: ‘This is a unique experiment, a 3D puzzle.

‘We have some preliminary findings about the various materials, but it will take days before we tighten down the precise answers to our questions.

‘We have confirmed that the shards in the brain cavity are likely solidified pitch, not a crystalline material.’

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The Garrett mummy is one of just 100 portrait mummies in the mummies.

These mummies have a lifelike painting of the deceased incorporated into the mummy wrappings and placed directly over the person’s face.

Measuring just over three feet (0.9 metres) long, the little girl’s body was swaddled in linen.

The outer wrappings were arranged in an intricate geometric pattern of overlapping rhomboids, which served to frame the portrait.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5132131/Unravelling-mystery-Garrett-mummy.html#ixzz4zzmNPtUx
Source Credit: Daily Mail

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