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Sex Of Egyptian Child Mummy Mystifies Scientists

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An Egyptian mummy of a child was uncovered nearly one hundred years ago, and scientists still cannot determine its sex. Technology can now place the child’s age, race, and even conduct a virtual autopsy, but the sex remains unknown.

The pelvis of the mummy has completely collapsed, according to Livescience, and so anthropologists can’t perform certain tests to learn the biological sex. This particular mummy is said to be very fragile by the the Spurlock Museum’s standards, and so inspection must remain pretty hands 0ff. To learn the child’s age, scientists were able to perform an x-ray which found adult teeth just under the baby teeth — placing the child at between seven and nine years old. CT scans have also been able to create a three-dimensional reconstruction of the mummy’s face, which suggest to scientists that the child was West Asian or Mediterranean. The cause of death is still up in the air.

Furthermore, scientists are also unsure how this particular child mummy even got to the United States from Egypt, or even from which archeological site the child came from. What is known is that the mummy traveled to American soil sometime in the 1920s when it was still legal for a private collector to own a mummy.

Other clues to the child’s story are a portrait of a male which was found in the mummy’s wrappings. While the portrait could have been added to identify the kid, Livescience says Egyptian research reveals that not all included portraits reflect the mummified individual. Also in the mummy’s wrappings are paintings of Egyptian gods, which place the mummification to the Roman Empire.

Scientists apparently are looking towards the future to provide them with the tools necessary to understand where this little guy or girl came from. But his or her story and young life has so far been kept under wraps for over 2,000 years.

(photo: livescience.com)