Archaeologists initially believed that they were looking at the mummy of the ancient Egyptian priest known as Hor-Djehuty.
However, images from the abdomen showed bones of a tiny foot.
Additional scans confirmed their suspicions – the foot was from a tiny fetus, still in the womb of the mummified mother.
This is reportedly the first time a mummified pregnant woman was found, according to Sciencealert.
However, a new mystery emerged – Who was the woman? Why was she mummified?
Scientists named her the “Mysterious Lady of the National Museum in Warsaw.”
Archaeologist Wojciech Ejsmond from the Polish Academy of Sciences stated:
“For unknown reasons, the fetus had not been removed from the abdomen during the mummification. For this reason, the mummy is really unique. Our mummy is the only one identified so far in the world with a fetus in the womb.”
The mummy and its sarcophagus were donated to the University in 1826 and was kept in safe storage at the National Museum in Warsaw, Poland, since 1917.
The artefact’s history is fascinating. The mummy was actually initially believed to be female, mainly thanks to the elaborate sarcophagus.
However, only at the beginning of the ’20s, the name on the coffin got translated. The writing suggested that the interred’s name was Hor-Djehuty, and they had a high social status.
This is what the translation on the sarcophagus reads:
“Scribe, priest of Horus-Thoth worshipped as a visiting deity in the Mount of Djeme, royal governor of the town of Petmiten, Hor-Djehuty, justified by voice, son of Padiamonemipet and lady of a house Tanetmin.”
However, the mystery was uncovered when computer tomography revealed in 2016 that the mummy might not have been Hor-Djehuty mainly because the bones were too delicate and the male reproductive organs were missing.
Also, a 3D reconstruction revealed breasts, so it was clear that the mummy was, in fact, a woman.