This 1,700-year-old mummy has a brain, no heart and plaques over her sternum and abdomen, say researchers. Here, the mummy is being unboxed on the first day of a scanning session at the Montreal Neurological Institute.
An ancient Egyptian mummy found with an intact brain, but no heart, has a plaque on her abdomen that may have been intended to ritually heal her, say a team of researchers who examined the female body with CT scans.
The woman probably lived around 1,700 years ago, at a time when Egypt was under Roman rule and Christianity was spreading, according to radiocarbon dating. Her name is unknown and she died between age 30 and 50. Like many Egyptians, she had terrible dental problems and had lost many of her teeth.
The use of mummification was in decline as Roman culture and Christianity took hold in the country. But this woman and her family, apparently strong in their traditional Egyptian beliefs, insisted on having the procedure done. [See Images of the Ancient Egyptian Mummy & Weird Plaque]
To remove her organs, the scans show, the embalmers created a hole through her perineum and removed her intestines, stomach, liver and even her heart. Her brain, however, was left intact. Spices and lichen were spread over her head and abdomen, and she was wrapped and presumably put in a coffin; her final resting place was likely near Luxor, 19th century records say.
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