This Ancient Mummy Is Older Than the Pharaohs

By Mindy Weisberger

Embalming in ancient Egypt predated the pharaohs, an ancient mummy reveals. That would mean that the practice began at least 1,500 years earlier than once thought.

The mummy — an adult male curled on its left side in a fetal pose — is about 6,000 years old. It was previously thought to be naturally preserved by desert conditions at the site where it was buried. But the first-ever tests performed on the remains showed that the mummy was embalmed, making it the earliest known example of Egyptian mummification, researchers reported in a new study.

Further examination showed that the ancient embalmers used multiple ingredients to preserve the corpse, employing a similar recipe to the ones used 2,500 years later, when mummification in Egypt was at its peak. 

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