An Egyptian researcher requests a re-examination of the "pregnant mummy" and a Polish team explains how the corpse was "pickled"

باحثة مصرية تطلب إعادة فحص "المومياء الحامل".. وفريق بولندي يفسر كيف تم "تخليل" الجثة  "مشروع مومياء وارسو" كشف عن أول حالة معروفة لمومياء مصرية قديمة حامل (الفرنسية)  كشفت دراسة جديدة لفريق من العلماء البولنديين -نشرت بدورية "جورنال أوف أركيولوجيكال ساينس" (Journal of Archaeological Science) في عدد يناير/كانون الثاني الجاري- كيف تمكن جنين محفوظ داخل أحشاء مومياء امرأة مصرية قديمة من البقاء لأكثر من ألفي عام، حتى يومنا هذا، وشبّه الباحثون عملية تحنيط الجنين بعملية "تخليل بيضة".  كانت المرأة المصرية القديمة قد ماتت قبل أكثر من ألفي عام، ولا تزال هويتها وكيفية موتها لغزَين بلا حل. وذكر تقرير نشر على موقع "ساينس ألرت" (Alert Science) أن "مشروع مومياء وارسو" كشف طريقة الحفاظ على الجنين داخل جسد المومياء المصرية.  وقال فريق البحث بقيادة عالمة الآثار البيولوجية "مارزينا أورايك سيسيلكي" في جامعة وارسو إن الرحم بقي على حاله سليما لم يمسسه شيء، وإنه تم حفظ الجنين على شكل "مخلل"، موضحا أنها ليست المقارنة الأكثر جمالية، ولكنها تنقل الفكرة.   مومياء السيدة الغامضة في أبريل/ نيسان 2021، كشف "مشروع مومياء وارسو" (Warsaw Mummy Project) بجامعة وارسو -الذي تم إطلاقه في عام 2015- عن أول حالة معروفة لمومياء مصرية قديمة حامل، وكانت لبقايا مومياء من القرن الأول قبل الميلاد ضمن مجموعة المتحف الوطني في وارسو، وتم إحضارها إلى هناك عام 1826.   وكشف الفحص الدقيق باستخدام التصوير المقطعي أن المرأة كانت بين 20-30 سنة عندما توفيت، وكانت في الأسبوع 26 إلى 30 من الحمل. وظلت العديد من الأسئلة حول المرأة مثل من هي وكيف ماتت؟ -منذ ما يزيد قليلا على ألفي عام- لغزا محيرا للعلماء، ومن هنا عُرفت باسم "السيدة الغامضة" (Mysterious Lady).  ومؤخرا، ألقى العلماء نظرة فاحصة على الجنين لمعرفة كيفية حفظه حتى عصرنا الحالي، ووفقا للدراسة الجديدة التي أجراها فريق "مشروع مومياء وارسو"، فإن الحفظ حدث عن طريق تحمض جسد المرأة أثناء تحللها.  التقدير الحجمي للجنين من بيانات التصوير المقطعي المحوسب (جورنال أوف أركيولوجيكال ساينس) وأوضح الفريق أنه تم "تخليل" الجثة في بيئة حمضية، وقالت أورايك سيسيلكي عالمة الأنثروبولوجيا وعالمة الآثار والمديرة المشاركة لمشروع مومياء وارسو "أثناء عملية التحنيط، تم تغطية المتوفاة بالنطرون (مزيج ملح طبيعي يتم جمعه من قاع البحيرات الجافة واستخدمه المصريون القدماء لتجفيف الجثث وتطهيرها)، أو الصودا الطبيعية التي كانت تهدف إلى تجفيف الجسم". ومع ذلك، بقي الجنين في الرحم وبدأ "يتخلل" في البيئة الحمضية.  وقال فويتشن إيسمون من أكاديمية العلوم البولندية -وهو عالم ضمن "مشروع مومياء وارسو" والذي قاد الدراسة- "بقي الجنين في الرحم ولم يمسسه أحد وبدأ يتخلل. إنها ليست المقارنة الأكثر جمالية، ولكنها تنقل الفكرة".   وأضاف الباحثون "تنخفض درجة حموضة الدم في الجثث، بما في ذلك محتوى الرحم، بشكل ملحوظ، وتصبح أكثر حمضية، وتزداد تركيزات الأمونيا وحمض الفورميك بمرور الوقت".  ووفق البحث، فقد عمد المصريون القدماء إلى ملء الجسم وتعبئته ووضعه في مادة النطرون ليحد بشكل كبير من وصول الهواء والأكسجين. والنتيجة النهائية هي رحم محكم الإغلاق يحتوي على الجنين.  المومياء والتابوت (المتحف الوطني في وارسو) جدال كبير وفي المقابل، كتبت الدكتورة سحر سليم -وهي أستاذة بقسم الأشعة بكلية طب قصر العيني/ جامعة القاهرة- تعليقا أوليا على اكتشاف الفريق البحثي في مقالة علمية نشرتها في عدد يناير/كانون الثاني من دورية "جورنال أوف أركيولوجيكال ساينس"، وطرحت سؤالا حول ما إذا كان ما وجدوه هو بالفعل جنين، وأشارت إلى أنه لا يمكن الكشف عن أي عظام عبر فحوص المومياء، لذلك فإن تحديد وجود الجنين أمر غير مؤكد.  وقالت سليم "إن الباحثين استندوا في التشخيص إلى المظهر الخارجي لكتلة الحوض التي تشبه جنينا ملفوفا، ولكن دون الكشف عن أي تكوين تشريحي أو عظام".   وأضافت أن "ما اعتقد الباحثون أنه جنين قد يكون عبوات حشوية أو مواد تحنيط مكثفة أو ورما متكلسا في الحوض"، ودعتهم إلى إعادة إجراء التصوير المقطعي المحوسب للمومياء باستخدام البروتوكول المناسب الذي يشرف عليه مختصو الأشعة المعنيون بفحص المومياوات.  لكن أورايك سيسيلكي وفريقها يجادلون بأن هذا لم يكن غير متوقع. حيث تكون عظام الجنين ضعيفة للغاية في المعادن خلال الثلثين الأولين من الحمل، ما يعني أنه من الصعب اكتشافها في المقام الأول بعد الخضوع لعمليات الحفظ. ويصعب العثور على عظام الجنين أثناء الحفريات الأثرية. ويرى الفريق أن اختلاف شكل السيدة الغامضة وجنينها يعود إلى أن عملية تحنيطهما تمت بشكل مختلف عما هو معتاد.  التصوير المقطعي للجنين في مومياء السيدة الغامضة (مشروع مومياء وارسو – مواقع إلكترونية)    تجربة البيضة ولا يختلف الأمر عن عملية التحنيط الطبيعية التي تحدث في مستنقعات الخث، حيث تقوم البيئة شديدة الحموضة "بتخليل" الأنسجة الرخوة، ولكنها تزيل المعادن من العظام.   وكتب العلماء "يمكن مقارنة عملية نزع المعادن في العظام في بيئة حمضية بتجربة البيضة. تخيل وضع بيضة في إناء مليء بحمض. تذوب قشرة البيض، ولا يتبقى سوى الجزء الداخلي من البيضة (الزلال والصفار) والمعادن من قشر البيض المذاب في الحمض".  ويرجع سبب اختلاف جسد السيدة الغامضة وجسد الجنين في هذا الصدد إلى أنهما تحنطا بشكل مختلف. حيث تم تحنيط السيدة باستخدام النطرون، والجنين في رحمها محكم الإغلاق ومحنط في البيئة الحمضية الناتجة عن التفاعل الكيميائي.  وإضافة إلى ذلك، فإن المعادن المتسربة من عظام الجنين قد تترسب في الأنسجة الرخوة للجنين نفسه والرحم المحيط به، ما ينتج عنه محتوى معدني أعلى من المتوقع. وهذا يعني أن هذه الأنسجة سيكون لها كثافة إشعاعية أعلى في فحوصات التصوير المقطعي المحوسب.  وشرحت أورايك سيسيلكي "ربما كان للأمر علاقة بالمعتقدات والبعث في الحياة الآخرة. ولا يزال من الصعب استخلاص أي استنتاجات لأننا لا نعرف ما إذا كانت هذه هي المومياء الحامل الوحيدة. وفي الوقت الحالي، هي بالتأكيد المومياء المصرية الحامل الوحيدة المعروفة".   وتشير النتائج إلى أن مومياوات حوامل أخرى ربما تختبئ على مرأى من الجميع في مجموعات المتحف الأخرى. وقد يساعد هذا البحث علماء الآثار والأنثروبولوجيا في الكشف عن سبب ترك الجنين سليما عندما تمت إزالة الأعضاء الداخلية الأخرى للسيدة الغامضة من أجل عملية التحنيط.  المصدر : ساينس ألرت + مواقع إلكترونية  An Egyptian researcher requests a re-examination of the "pregnant mummy" and a Polish team explains how the corpse was "pickled"  A new study by a team of Polish scientists - published in the Journal of Archaeological Science in this January issue - revealed how an embryo preserved inside the womb of an ancient Egyptian woman's mummy managed to survive for more than two thousand years, to this day. The researchers likened the process of embalming the fetus to the process of "picking an egg."  The ancient Egyptian woman had died more than two thousand years ago, and her identity and how she died remain two unsolved mysteries. A report published on the Alert Science website stated that the "Warsaw Mummy Project" revealed the method of preserving the fetus inside the body of the Egyptian mummy.  The research team, led by biological archaeologist Marzina Orek Siselki at the University of Warsaw, said that the uterus remained intact and untouched, and that the fetus was preserved in the form of a "pickle", explaining that it is not the most aesthetic comparison, but it conveys the idea.  Mysterious Lady Mummy In April 2021, the Warsaw Mummy Project at the University of Warsaw - launched in 2015 - revealed the first known case of a pregnant ancient Egyptian mummy, and it was the remains of a mummy from the first century BC in the collection of the National Museum in Warsaw It was brought there in 1826.  Close examination using a CT scan revealed that the woman was between 20-30 years old when she died, and she was 26-30 weeks pregnant. Many questions remained about the woman such as who is she and how did she die? -A little more than two thousand years ago- a mystery to scientists, hence she was known as the "Mysterious Lady".  Recently, scientists took a closer look at the fetus to find out how it was preserved until the present time, and according to the new study conducted by the "Warsaw Mummy Project" team, the preservation occurred by acidifying the woman's body during its decomposition.  The team explained that the body was "pickled" in an acidic environment. "During the mummification process, the deceased were covered with natron (a natural salt mixture collected from the bottom of dry lakes and used by the ancient Egyptians to dry and disinfect corpses), the team explained. Or a natural soda that was meant to dry out the body. However, the fetus remained in the womb and began to "permeate" in the acidic environment.  "The fetus remained in the womb untouched and began to permeate. It's not the most aesthetic comparison, but it conveys the idea," said Wojtgen Ismon of the Polish Academy of Sciences, a scientist with the Warsaw Mummy Project who led the study.  "The pH of blood in cadavers, including the uterine content, drops significantly, becomes more acidic, and concentrations of ammonia and formic acid increase over time," the researchers added.  According to the research, the ancient Egyptians used to fill the body, fill it and put it in natron, to significantly limit the access of air and oxygen. The end result is a tightly closed uterus that contains the fetus.  Big argument On the other hand, Dr. Sahar Selim, a professor in the Department of Radiology at the Faculty of Medicine, Kasr Al-Ainy / Cairo University, wrote a preliminary comment on the research team’s discovery in a scientific article published in the January issue of the “Journal of Archaeological Science”, and asked a question about whether What they found was indeed a fetus, and she noted that no bones could be detected by mummy scans, so determining the presence of a fetus is uncertain.  "The researchers based the diagnosis on the external appearance of the pelvic mass, which resembles a coiled fetus, but without revealing any anatomical or bone formation," Saleem said.  She added that "what the researchers thought was a fetus, it might be visceral devices, thick embalming materials, or a calcified tumor in the pelvis," and called on them to re-conduct the CT scan of the mummy using the appropriate protocol supervised by the radiologists concerned with examining the mummies.  But Orek Siselke and her team argue that this was not unexpected. The bones of the fetus are very weak in minerals during the first two trimesters of pregnancy, which means that they are difficult to detect in the first place after undergoing preservation operations. It is difficult to find the bones of the fetus during archaeological excavations. The team believes that the different shape of the mysterious woman and her fetus is due to the fact that their mummification process took place differently than usual.  Egg experiment Not unlike the natural embalming process that occurs in peat bogs, where the highly acidic environment "pickles" the soft tissues, but removes minerals from the bones.  "The process of demineralizing the bones in an acidic environment can be compared to the experience of an egg," the scientists wrote. "Imagine placing an egg in a container filled with acid. The eggshell dissolves, leaving only the interior of the egg (albumin and yolk) and minerals from the eggshell dissolved in the acid."  The reason for the difference between the body of the mysterious lady and the body of the fetus in this regard is that they were mummified differently. The woman was embalmed with natron, and the fetus in her womb was sealed and embalmed in the acidic environment resulting from the chemical reaction.  In addition, minerals leaking from the fetus's bones may be deposited in the soft tissues of the fetus itself and the surrounding uterus, resulting in a higher than expected mineral content. This means that these tissues will have a higher radiation density in CT scans.  "It may have something to do with beliefs and resurrection in the afterlife. It is still difficult to draw any conclusions because we don't know if this is the only pregnant mummy. At the moment, it is certainly the only known pregnant Egyptian mummy," explained Orek Siselke.  The findings suggest that other pregnant mummies may be hiding in plain sight in the museum's other collections. This research may help archaeologists and anthropologists reveal why the fetus was left intact when the mysterious woman's other internal organs were removed for mummification.

An Egyptian researcher requests a re-examination of the "pregnant mummy" and a Polish team explains how the corpse was "pickled"


A new study by a team of Polish scientists - published in the Journal of Archaeological Science in this January issue - revealed how an embryo preserved inside the womb of an ancient Egyptian woman's mummy managed to survive for more than two thousand years, to this day. The researchers likened the process of embalming the fetus to the process of "picking an egg."

The ancient Egyptian woman had died more than two thousand years ago, and her identity and how she died remain two unsolved mysteries. A report published on the Alert Science website stated that the "Warsaw Mummy Project" revealed the method of preserving the fetus inside the body of the Egyptian mummy.

The research team, led by biological archaeologist Marzina Orek Siselki at the University of Warsaw, said that the uterus remained intact and untouched, and that the fetus was preserved in the form of a "pickle", explaining that it is not the most aesthetic comparison, but it conveys the idea.

Mysterious Lady Mummy
In April 2021, the Warsaw Mummy Project at the University of Warsaw - launched in 2015 - revealed the first known case of a pregnant ancient Egyptian mummy, and it was the remains of a mummy from the first century BC in the collection of the National Museum in Warsaw It was brought there in 1826.

Close examination using a CT scan revealed that the woman was between 20-30 years old when she died, and she was 26-30 weeks pregnant. Many questions remained about the woman such as who is she and how did she die? -A little more than two thousand years ago- a mystery to scientists, hence she was known as the "Mysterious Lady".

Recently, scientists took a closer look at the fetus to find out how it was preserved until the present time, and according to the new study conducted by the "Warsaw Mummy Project" team, the preservation occurred by acidifying the woman's body during its decomposition.

The team explained that the body was "pickled" in an acidic environment. "During the mummification process, the deceased were covered with natron (a natural salt mixture collected from the bottom of dry lakes and used by the ancient Egyptians to dry and disinfect corpses), the team explained. Or a natural soda that was meant to dry out the body. However, the fetus remained in the womb and began to "permeate" in the acidic environment.

"The fetus remained in the womb untouched and began to permeate. It's not the most aesthetic comparison, but it conveys the idea," said Wojtgen Ismon of the Polish Academy of Sciences, a scientist with the Warsaw Mummy Project who led the study.

"The pH of blood in cadavers, including the uterine content, drops significantly, becomes more acidic, and concentrations of ammonia and formic acid increase over time," the researchers added.

According to the research, the ancient Egyptians used to fill the body, fill it and put it in natron, to significantly limit the access of air and oxygen. The end result is a tightly closed uterus that contains the fetus.

Big argument
On the other hand, Dr. Sahar Selim, a professor in the Department of Radiology at the Faculty of Medicine, Kasr Al-Ainy / Cairo University, wrote a preliminary comment on the research team’s discovery in a scientific article published in the January issue of the “Journal of Archaeological Science”, and asked a question about whether What they found was indeed a fetus, and she noted that no bones could be detected by mummy scans, so determining the presence of a fetus is uncertain.

"The researchers based the diagnosis on the external appearance of the pelvic mass, which resembles a coiled fetus, but without revealing any anatomical or bone formation," Saleem said.

She added that "what the researchers thought was a fetus, it might be visceral devices, thick embalming materials, or a calcified tumor in the pelvis," and called on them to re-conduct the CT scan of the mummy using the appropriate protocol supervised by the radiologists concerned with examining the mummies.

But Orek Siselke and her team argue that this was not unexpected. The bones of the fetus are very weak in minerals during the first two trimesters of pregnancy, which means that they are difficult to detect in the first place after undergoing preservation operations. It is difficult to find the bones of the fetus during archaeological excavations. The team believes that the different shape of the mysterious woman and her fetus is due to the fact that their mummification process took place differently than usual.

Egg experiment
Not unlike the natural embalming process that occurs in peat bogs, where the highly acidic environment "pickles" the soft tissues, but removes minerals from the bones.

"The process of demineralizing the bones in an acidic environment can be compared to the experience of an egg," the scientists wrote. "Imagine placing an egg in a container filled with acid. The eggshell dissolves, leaving only the interior of the egg (albumin and yolk) and minerals from the eggshell dissolved in the acid."

The reason for the difference between the body of the mysterious lady and the body of the fetus in this regard is that they were mummified differently. The woman was embalmed with natron, and the fetus in her womb was sealed and embalmed in the acidic environment resulting from the chemical reaction.

In addition, minerals leaking from the fetus's bones may be deposited in the soft tissues of the fetus itself and the surrounding uterus, resulting in a higher than expected mineral content. This means that these tissues will have a higher radiation density in CT scans.

"It may have something to do with beliefs and resurrection in the afterlife. It is still difficult to draw any conclusions because we don't know if this is the only pregnant mummy. At the moment, it is certainly the only known pregnant Egyptian mummy," explained Orek Siselke.

The findings suggest that other pregnant mummies may be hiding in plain sight in the museum's other collections. This research may help archaeologists and anthropologists reveal why the fetus was left intact when the mysterious woman's other internal organs were removed for mummification.
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