Posted By Zoey T. Posted On

Unearth an ancient Egyptian child mummy from the Roman period, adorned with gold dust

Meet the ‘Gold Dust Baby’, an extraordinary find from Roman times, believed to be an 8-month-old girl. This unique mummy, carefully coated in shimmering gold dust, harbors a distinctive history of preservation and intriguing patterns of anomalies.

What sets this mummy apart is the unconventional approach taken during excavation, a process typically associated with the transplantation or formation of human remains. In this case, an artificial opening was meticulously designed in the skull, located just behind the left ear and near the pars petrosa of the temporal bone. It should be noted that this cranial defect does not show signs of postmortem healing, indicating its posthumous origin.

Unwrapping it revealed remains of the original wrapping material, raising intriguing questions about when and why this elaborate burial was disturbed. Closer examination revealed that a third rib was missing on the right side, with the sixth and seventh ribs in an odd position, likely repositioned during the embalming process. The repositioned rib serves as a captivating piece of the puzzle, as it prevented the thorax from collapsing, unlike the abdomen.

To add to the mystery, the ‘Gold Dust Infant’ had naturally light-colored hair, possibly enhanced with henna. This fascinating find not only offers insight into ancient Egyptian funerary practices, but also raises tantalizing questions about the circumstances and rituals surrounding the preservation and development of this young woman.