Micro-CT reveals hawk mummy is actually a human fetus

By AuntMinnie.com staff writers

June 1, 2018 -- When an international team of researchers acquired micro-CT scans of what they believed was a mummy of an Egyptian hawk, they discovered instead that it was a human fetus.

Micro-CT scan of a male fetus with severe congenital abnormalities
Micro-CT scan of the male fetus. Image courtesy of Maidstone Museum and Nikon Metrology.

The researchers, led by bioarchaeologist and mummy expert Andrew Nelson, PhD, of Western University in Canada, examined high-resolution micro-CT scans of the mummy.

They found that it was a male fetus with several congenital health abnormalities, including anencephaly, a rare condition in which the brain and skull do not develop properly.

The fetus' previous label as a mummified hawk from the Ptolemaic Period has been changed to reflect this discovery at its home in the Maidstone Museum in the U.K.

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