Sydney University finds 2500-year-old mummy remains in empty coffin

Mummy remains at the nicholoson museum
The coffin and the work done on the remains will be on display at the Nicholson Museum. Photo by Joyofmuseums via Wikimedia Commons.

Sydney University finds 2500-year-old mummy remains in empty coffin

Sydney University had stored an Egyptian coffin for the past 150 years that they suspected to be empty. Archaeologists were more than surprised when they lifted the lid to find human remains that dated back 2500 years.

The latest technology is now being used to digitally reconstruct the body and shed some light on what might have happened.

Dr Jamie Fraser, who is the lead for the investigation, said that the team analysing the body are about to start a detailed project to investigate the remains inside the coffin. The question he is looking forward to answering the most is who actually is in the coffin.

The remains inside the coffin are not whole and it is theorised that a tomb robber has disturbed the remains to look for any amulets or jewels that the person would’ve been buried with.

The coffin has Hieroglyphics that state that the coffin was made for priestess Mer-Neith-it-es. However it is common for coffins to hold the remains of others due to how old they are.

Egyptian antique sellers commonly discard the remains from the original coffin to resell. If a buyer requests a mummy in the coffin the seller would put a new one in.

John Magnussen is a Radiologist Professor that stated that even though the remains were heavily disturbed, they will still be able to gather some information to discover the story of the mummy.

To shed more light on what might have happened, the remains and the coffin itself have been scanned to create digital 3D models where they will then be sent for a CT scan.

Analysing the bones, the researchers were able to say that the remains that are in the coffin belong to an adult who was over 30 years old. It is known that Mer-Neith-it-es was an adult when she passed so they’re one step closer to solving the mystery.

Egyptologists are still analysing the remains and are hoping for clearer signs to put a date on the mummy. Connie Lord, who is an Egyptologist, has been the one looking through the remains. She said that she hopes to find toenails as they are one of the best indications for carbon dating.

It will take months or even years for researchers to fully identify whose remains are in the coffin. For now the coffin along with another 3 will be on exhibition on at the Nicholson Museum at the Sydney University grounds, where some of the work that was done will be on display.