Not a fetus, but several bundles are in the pelvis of a female mummy presented at the National Museum in Warsaw, a team of scientists have proved. One of the bundles probably contains a mummified organ. The alleged pregnancy is the result of computer illusion and misinterpretation, the researchers believe.
In April 2021, part of the Warsaw Mummy Project (WMP) team published an article in the Journal of Archaeological Science, which concluded that a mummy of a woman belonging to the University of Warsaw and on display at the National Museum in Warsaw hides a 7-month-old fetus inside. The authors of the publication came to this conclusion based on an analysis of images obtained by X-ray and CT scanner. However, not all researchers agreed with this claim. They were questioned, among others, by mummy radiology expert Prof. Sahar Saleem.
In July 2022, a richly illustrated publication appeared in “Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences” (DOI: 10.1007/s12520-022-01598-z), in which another team of researchers from WMP argues that the mummified woman certainly did not contain a fetus. This is primarily evidenced by images of the precisely reconstructed pelvic contents and the results of comparative studies of ancient Egyptian feti.
“Our article includes many spectacular images and links leading to videos showing the interior of the ancient mummy, including those made using holographic techniques, which are the latest trend in medicine,” the paper’s lead author, bioarchaeologist and WMP co-founder Kamila Braulińska of Warsaw University, told PAP (Polish Press Agency).
“They were placed there by ancient embalmers. The bundles most likely contain at least one mummified organ of the deceased. This is a well-known practice in ancient Egypt,” Braulińska stressed. “In the others, perhaps, there are body fragments or other remnants of the mummification process. There is also another option – embalmers placed bundles in the mummies in order to maintain the shape of the body after the mummification process.”