By John VennardTODAY, Aug. 23, 2020—It took a while for us to catch on to this, but we were intrigued.
In a paper published today in the journal Science, researchers have discovered a 2.6-million-year old mummy, and the researchers believe that the body contained an organ of some kind.
“It’s very early, but the oldest mummy found to date has been discovered in the Sahara Desert, in a site called Al Gharbiya, in Tunisia,” says archaeologist and co-author Rene Déjà, an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley.
“We know it was an animal that died from an infectious disease.”
The mummy was a female and it is not known whether she was related to the Egyptian pharaohs.
In addition to the mummy’s appearance, Déjo says the researchers also found a large collection of tools that could have been used to create tools, including some with a sharp point.
But what they found most intriguing is the fact that the mummy, which is preserved in a jar, contained an important organ of a kind that scientists haven’t seen before in Egypt.
“That organ is actually an organ,” Déja says.
“This organ could have possibly been used in the creation of tools.
We don’t know what the organ was used for.”
The researchers don’t have a clue why the mummy was placed in such a state, but they think that it was for a purpose.
The mummy’s skeleton has been preserved for thousands of years, dating back 2,200 years to when the region was part of Egypt.
When it was found, Désaj says, it was about 40 centimeters (18 inches) long and had a weight of about 300 grams (1.6 ounces).
The researchers think that the mummified body was being used to store and preserve food and that this is why the body was in such bad condition.
The researchers also believe that this mummy may have had an extra appendage that could possibly have been made of wood, or maybe a clay pot.
The jar was found in the Al Ghibliya site, which lies about 1,600 kilometers (900 miles) south of Cairo, Egypt.
The team plans to continue to study the mummy.
Désab said that the new finding is exciting, but it won’t be the last we will learn about this mummy.
“I think it’s great that they found a mummy in such good condition,” he says.
Déaj says that the researchers have been able to confirm the existence of a large number of Egyptian artifacts and a number of artifacts that are similar to those found in Europe.
“The Egyptian mummies are a treasure trove of knowledge,” he adds.
“There’s a wealth of knowledge that’s not available to us today, but if you could find an artifact from Egypt and put it in a container, we would be able to learn about what it was used in.”
Researchers hope to continue their study of the mummy to understand what it used for.
“They were using the mummy for food, maybe for pottery,” says Déoj.
“Or maybe they were using it to cook the food.”
But Désa says that there is still a lot that they don’t understand about the mummy and it’s too early to tell if the findings will change anything.
“What we know for sure is that the bones and other remains are quite well preserved, and we have some very good DNA analyses, which are important for us,” Désasaj says.