Egyptian Mummy-Making May Have Started Way Earlier Than Scientists Thoughttags: mummy, Egyptian
Long before ancient Egyptians swaddled their pharaohs in balm-and-resin-soaked linens and placed them in treasure-bedecked tombs, their more egalitarian predecessors were using essentially the same embalming recipe.
The finding, published in PLoS ONE, pushes back known use of the multi-ingredient ointment by about 2,000 years, the authors estimate. The early blend includes a resin that probably came from at least 1,000 kilometers away from the gravesites, hinting that the region already had an established and extensive trade network.
The results will have archaeologists rethinking how mummification evolved, says Alice Stevenson, an archaeologist at University College London who was not involved in the study.
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