Pelvis of the mummified woman with visible foetus. Photo: Marcin Jaworski
Mid section of the mummy’s body with the foetus visible in the lower part. Photo: Marzena Ożarek-Szilke

Researchers working on the Warsaw Mummy Project (Warsaw Mummy Interdisciplinary Research Project), that is, doctoral PhD students from our University – Marzena Ożarek-Szilke, Kamila Braulińska and Wojciech Ejsmond – made an extraordinary discovery.

They discovered that the mummy from the collections of the University of Warsaw Museum (on loan to the National Museum in Warsaw [MNW]) is the embalmed body of a pregnant woman! This is the only known example in the world!

According to the records, the mummy was allegedly discovered in the royal tombs in Thebes in Upper Egypt. However, this is not certain. We do know that it was in the possession of the University of Warsaw in 1826. It was transported in a sarcophagus that had been made for the Theban priest Hor-Djehuti, who lived in the 1st century BCE. At the time of her death the woman was aged between 20 and 30 years and in an advanced stage of pregnancy (between 26 and 30 weeks). Her mummy can now be found in the Gallery of Ancient Art at the National Museum in Warsaw, as are many of the other loans from the Warsaw University Museum which make up the main part of the exhibition devoted to Ancient Egypt.

The findings of the research on the mummy were published in the Journal of Archaeological Science and immediately became a worldwide sensation.

The discovery was reported by science and popular science portals (the Nature – “April’s best science images”, the Polish Academy of Science, Science in Poland,, Archaeology, the Smithsonian Magazine, the Live Science, Thema Radiologie, the National Geographic, Ça m’intéresse, SciencePost), the national media in Poland (including TVP Info, Polsat, TVN), as well as: BBC, CNN, GuardianThe Telegraph, New York Times,The Washington Post, the USA Today, Foreign Policy, New York Post, South China Morning Post, Euronews, Huffington Post, Vanity Fair, People, Le Figaro, Le Parisien, Paris Match, La Croix, Mediapart, Paris Match (France), El Pais (Spain), CBS, NBC, Fox23 News, France24, French CNews, Australian ABC television, Canadian CTV, Irish RTE, Philippine ABS-CBN, Television New Zealand, the agencies Reuters, Associated Press, the Xinhua News Agency (China), Sputnik and Interfax (Russia), China Internet Information CenterNASDAQ, the New York Post, The Irish Times, The Jerusalem Post, The Times of Israel, Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya, Corriere della Sera, the National Post, the Toronto Star (Canada), Hürriyet Daily News (Turkey), RTL (Germany and Netherlands), RAI (Italy), The Times of India,, Hindustan Times, the India Today, The Tribune (India), Dawn (Pakistan), The Sun, the Daily Mail, Express, The New York Daily News, the Bild, the Stern (Germany), Le Matin (Switzerland), Aftonbladet (Sweden), the San Francisco Chronicle,The Star Tribune, The Seattle Times, Business Insider, Designboom, MSN, Yahoo, the U.S.News & World Report; Gizmodo, Fredzone, the German, Swiss, Austrian, Luxembourg, Czech, Chilean and Singapore press; Arabic, Ukrainian, Armenian, Mexican, Thai, Brazilian, Reunion, Hong Kong, Korean, Japanese, Bangladeshi, Indian, Algerian, French and American local media outlets such as Cincinnati Local12, WSB-TV (Atlanta), 104.5WOKV (Florida) plus many, many others.

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Photographs published courtesy of the WARSAW MUMMY PROJECT

Coordinators of the WARSAW MUMMY PROJECT. Photo: B. Bajerski MNW
Warsaw Mummy Project. Photo WMP
Research work in progress. Photo. O. Leydo