It took more than 2 thousand years for the mystery of the sarcophagus of the so-called falcon mummy to be solved. Discovered almost century ago, the strange mummy had left the scientific community without answers for decades.
According to a study carried out by anthropologists at the Western Ontario University, it was discovered that the remains of this Egyptian piece donated in 1925 to the Maidstone Museum, in fact belong to no less than those of a human fetus.
The confusion and explanation that the experts point out through a publication is due to the fact that this tiny sarcophagus was the perfect size for a bird of these characteristics, with the head of a hawk painted in gold and hieroglyphs that made references to Horus, the hawk-headed god of the ancient Egyptians.
Anthropologists who decided to submit these remains to an X-ray examination, discovered that the fetus at the time of death was in the twenty-third week of gestation and had anencephaly, a disorder that causes the baby to develop without parts of the brain and the skull, so it suffers from considerable malformations.
Added to this, the scans revealed that the fingers and toes were well formed, but the deformation of the skull was so severe that the brain practically would not have existed. In addition, they detected that it had a cleft palate and a cleft lip.
Among other things, the experts were able to conclude that losing this baby represented a serious blow to the family since they decided to mummify him, a situation that was very strange at that time, since normally fetuses were usually buried in pots, under the floors of the houses.
Andrew Nelson, bioarchaeologist and head of the project, presented the results of his study at the Extraordinary World Congress on Mummy Studies held in the Canary Islands, and highlighted that this surprising discovery was due, as in many occasions, to chance.