UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE – (CNN) – The University of Cambridge revealed this week that they in fact have owned one of the oldest known fetuses in history.
The discovery of the ancient Egyptian mummy dates to around 665-525 B.C. – it is the only academically verified specimen to exist at 16 to 18 weeks.
The fetus was discovered inside of a miniature coffin – but the discovery is not new and the secret of its finding is just being told this week.
The coffin was excavated in the Egyptian city of Giza in 1907 – the miniature piece is made of cedarwood and highlights the value of burial rituals throughout ancient Egypt.
Though the discovery of the coffin took place nearly 110 years ago, researchers left the interior alone, believing the small bundle inside contained mummified organs from embalming procedures.
Recently a team of scientists from the University of Cambridge used a micro CT scan, and the discovery of a tiny human body was revealed.
The gender of the fetus is unclear, and is believed to be the result of a miscarriage.
This is not the first time fetuses have been excavated in ancient Egypt – two mummified fetuses were discovered within King Tut’s tomb – the two fetuses were noted as being 25 to 37 weeks old.
In the latest discovery of a mummified fetus, the University of Cambridge announced the finding this past Wednesday. The miniature coffin is said to measure only 17” inches long and features carvings which were painstakingly done in a time with limited tools and artisans.