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Unraveling the secrets of a royal mummy from ancient Egypt reveals enigmatic rites never before found. ‎

The ancient Egyptians had been using embalming practices for more than 1,500 years, longer than scientists believed.

Fred, the mummy of Turin.

An incredibly well-preserved 5,600-year-old mummy is changing much of what we thought we knew about Ancient Egyptian embalming.

A new study published in the Journal of Archaeological Science shows strong evidence that embalming practices in Ancient Egypt existed more than 1,500 years earlier than previously believed.

A team of researchers reached their conclusions after examining “Fred,” an exceptionally well-preserved mummy discovered more than 100 years ago and housed in the Egyptian Museum in Turin since 1901, according to National Geographic. After Fred was originally brought back to the museum, the mummy had not undergone any additional preservation methods, which meant it would be the perfect subject for research in terms of how it was preserved the first time.

The Turin mummy is believed to be around 5,600 years old and was originally thought to be a preservation anomaly. Fred was believed to have been naturally preserved by the extreme heat of the desert.

However, the study examined the remains of the mummy and found that not only had the mummy been embalmed by humans, but it had also been preserved using a recipe similar to those used 2,500 years later by pharaohs and nobles such as King Tut during Egypt. . The peak mummification period, according to Live Science.

Study co-author Jana Jones, an Egyptologist at Macquarie University in Australia, previously explored clothing items from burial wrappings of Turin mummies and their doll, as well as a woven basket that was buried with their remains to find out the exact contents of the ointment. of embalming. What they discovered turned out to be a groundbreaking discovery.

According to National Geographic, the ointment consisted of a vegetable oil base that was then combined with gum or vegetable sugars, heated coniferous resin, and aromatic plant extracts. The components were extremely similar to ointments used thousands of years later, suggesting that Ancient Egyptian embalming practices had been established much earlier than previously thought.

“This certainly confirms our previous research,” Jones told National Geographic.

However, the Turin mummy was discovered in the fetal position with all of its organs still inside its body, which is very different from the techniques the ancient Egyptians later used on mummies (which included laying them flat and removing their organs). However, the recipe used to embalm the bodies was remarkably similar to those used much later.

Therefore, the study’s groundbreaking discovery has taken a giant step towards unlocking secrets about the mysteries and fascinating history of Ancient Egyptian mummies.