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2,500-Year-Old Mummified Crocodile Yields Surprises

Thursday, November 17, 2016 18:08
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2,500-Year-Old Mummified Crocodile Yields Surprises

The ancient Egyptians mummified not only people, but also their animals. Even huge crocodiles became a part of this process. One of them was examined recently in the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden) and scientists were surprised by what they saw.

According to a Rijksmuseum van Oudheden press release, the three-meter-long (9.84ft.) mummy was examined with a new 3D CT scanner. It was first examined in 1996 with an older type of CT scanner and this earlier scan revealed that the mummy, which was believed to belong to one crocodile, was in fact two large crocodiles wrapped-up together. However, the new 3D CT scan results showed another surprise, that apart from the “two crocodiles previously spotted inside the wrappings, the mummy also contains dozens of individually wrapped baby crocodiles.”

Scan with baby crocodiles shown in blue.

Scan with baby crocodiles shown in blue. (Interspectral)

The discovery is a huge surprise to the museum, especially since these mummies are very rare examples of the mastery of crocodile mummification. Moreover, the scans showed amulets placed inside the linen wrappings and helped the researchers understand more about the mummified animals – like their physical features, ages, and the process of drying their bodies and covering them in linen. The modern 3D CT scanner allowed the researchers to examine every single detail of the mummies. – Reconstructing the story of humanity’s past


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