Egyptian Mummy Recipe Goes Back Earlier Than Thought

August 13, 2014 6:04 PM

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Egyptian Mummy Recipe Goes Back Earlier Than Thought

The origins of Egyptian mummification could go back 1,500 years earlier than previously thought, archaeologists report in the journal PLOS ONE. Researchers from the University of York and Oxford in England, plus Macquarie University in Australia, reached that conclusion based on chemical analysis on textiles from mummies entombed in ancient cemeteries at Mostagedda in Upper Egypt.

Archaeologists had thought these mummies — which date back to between 4500 B.C. and 3350 B.C. — were desiccated naturally by the desert's hot, dry conditions. But the newly reported tests turned up traces of pine resin, an aromatic plant extract and a plant gum or sugar. Scientists also identified a...

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