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Yorkshire Ancient Egypt expert unwraps 6,000 year old mummy secret

Thu, Aug. 16, 2018
CAIRO – 16 August 2018:A Yorkshire based expert revealed that Ancient Egyptians were actually consecrating mummies 1,500 years earlier than previously thought; almost 6,000 years ago.

The discovery was made after tests were performed on a mummy that dates back between 3,700-3,500 BC, archaeological chemist and mummification expert Dr. Stephen Buckley from the University of York's Bio Arch Facility stated.

The mummy housed in the Egyptian Museum in Turin was previously thought to have been naturally mummified by natural causes; such as hot weather and the rigid desert climate it once resided in.

However, unlike numerous prehistoric mummies displayed in various museums around the world, this specific mummy had never undergone any conservation process, which gives the scientific team a real chance at performing accurate scientific analysis, commented Buckley.

The mummy was indeed drenched with some kind of plant oil with some kind of gum/sugar that had been mixed with it and used to fecundate the funerary textiles in which the body was encased.

The 'mix' of plant matter contained antibacterial agents, similar to those used by the ancient Egyptian undertakers, who had peaking skills in the processing of the dead bodies.

“Having identified very similar embalming recipes in previous research on prehistoric burials, this latest study provides both the first evidence for the wider geographical use of these balms and the first ever unequivocal scientific evidence for the use of embalming on an intact, prehistoric Egyptian mummy,” said Buckley.

“Moreover, this preservative treatment contained antibacterial constituents in the same proportions as those used in later ‘true’ mummification. As such, our findings represent the literal embodiment of the forerunners of classic mummification, which would become one of the central and iconic pillars of ancient Egyptian culture,” he added.

Buckley, along with TV Egyptologist and University of York Prof. Joann Fletcher, were previously part of a team of scientists that won a BAFTA for the 2011 Channel 4 documentary, "Mummifying Alan: Egypt's Last Secret", which was about the mummification process at Sheffield's Medico-Legal Centre.

Currently, Buckley is undergoing forensic tests in search for mummy remains in 19th century paintings.



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