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This Tiny Egyptian Mummy Thought to be a Bird is Hiding a Dark Secret

Jan 13, 2017 04:00 AM EST

A miniature Egyptian mummy from the Maidstone Museum, thought to be the remains of a bird, is hiding a dark secret. Researchers have discovered that the mummy was in fact a human fetus that's thought to have died from miscarriage.

According to a press release from the Maidstone Museum, the mummy was initially classified as "A mummified hawk with linen and cartonnage, Ptolemaic period (323 BC – 30BC)," but things changed after researchers conducted CT scans at the Kent Institute of Medicine and Surgery (KIMS Hospital).

READ: Historic Discovery: Archaeologists Unearth Secret Ancient Egyptian City and Cemetery

"Following the scans at KIMS Hospital, the remains were in fact revealed to be the mummy of a baby. Initial reviews identified the baby to be a miscarried c.20-week gestation foetus which, if found to be the case, will be one of the youngest human mummies recorded anywhere in the world," said Samantha Harris, Collections Manager at Maidstone Museum.

IFL Science notes that apart from the tiny Egyptian artifact, the researchers also conducted CT scans on other objects under the Maidstone Museum's Ancient Civilisations gallery. These include the remains of Ta-Kush, which is called "Daughter of the Door Keeper Osiris."

READ: How a Mummified Child in Lithuania Could Rewrite the History of Small Pox

The said mummy was previously thought as a 14-year-old girl who lived 2.7000 years ago, but the scans reveal that she could have been older due to evidence of fully erupted wisdom teeth. Ta-Kush could have also suffered from a "downward impact such as a fall" because of a wedge fracture found in her vertebrae.

“The initial results of Ta-Kush’s scan were remarkable. Not only did we find evidence of fully erupted wisdom teeth to help us identify that her age was probably much higher than was first thought, but also that there was evidence of a wedge fracture in one of her vertebrae – a symptom of patients suffering a downward impact such as a fall,” Harris said.

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