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News: Egypt
The mother’s skeleton was resting in a contracted position and was wrapped in a leather shroud.
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by Archaeology Newsroom

Discovery in Aswan-Kom Ombo area

By an Italian-American mission

The Italian-American mission working in the Aswan-Kom Ombo project in Aswan has uncovered the grave of a woman and her fetus dating back to 3700 years ago, Dr. Mostafa Waziri, General Secretary of the Supreme Council of Antiquities announces.

He explains that it is an almost intact grave that was found in a small cemetery previously used by nomadic people who moved to Egypt from the desert hinterland of its southern neighbour, Nubia, during the Second Intermediate Period (c. 1750-1550 BCE).

He pointed out the studies show that at the time of her death, the woman was about 25 years old and she was very close to her due date. He added that the baby’s skeleton was found in his mother pelvic area and the fetus had already settled in a ‘head-down’ position, hinting to the possibility that both mother and child may have died during childbirth.

Preliminary analysis of the mother’s remains has revealed a misalignment in the woman’s pelvis, most likely the result of a fracture that had healed incorrectly. It is possible that
this abnormality had caused problems during labour leading to the pair premature death.

The mother’s skeleton was resting in a contracted position and was wrapped in a leather shroud. Two pottery vessels accompanied her on her journey to the afterlife: one was a small Egyptian jar, beautifully made and worn down by years of use; the other was a fine bowl with a red polished surface and black interior, produced by these nomadic communities following a Nubian style.

Dr. Waziri  mentioned that the mission was also found  an unexpected offering  in the grave, consisting of many unfinished ostrich eggshell beads and blank fragments. The reason behind this offering is unclear; it is possible that in life she was a well-regarded
beadmaker and her family placed such large amount of unworked material in the grave to honour her memory.

NOTES
1. Ministry of Antiquities