View Full Version : One Million Mummies discovered in Egypt

17-12-14, 02:07

A mummy over 7 feet tall

The stories that these million mummies (http://www.livescience.com/26574-egyptian-mummy-facial-reconstructions.html) tell appear endless. The Brigham Young team has excavated more than 1,000 of the mummies over the past 30 years, and Muhlestein admits the team has a publishing backlog.

One discovery that hasn't been published is of a mummy who is more than 7 feet (2 meters) tall. "We once found a male who was over 7 feet tall who was far too tall to fit into the shaft, so they bent him in half and tossed him in," Muhlestein told the audience in Toronto.

That's an extraordinary height given the generally poor nutrition these people had (http://www.livescience.com/27569-ancient-romans-ate-millet.html), Muhlestein told Live Science in an interview, adding that "even with great nutrition, it's really unusual" for an individual to reach that height. The great height could be because of a medical condition that caused an excess of growth hormone, but more research needs to be done to determine this.

This surprisingly tall mummy was discovered before Muhlestein became director, and the findings have yet to be published, he said. "We have a large publishing backlog, [and] we're trying to catch up on making our colleagues and the public aware [of the finds]."

Blond and redheaded mummies

While excavating and publishing the discoveries from the cemetery pose daunting challenges, they also provide archaeologists with terrific opportunities.
For instance, the team is in the early stages of creating a database of all the mummies it has excavated. When complete, the database will help the researchers study burial patterns in the area.
While the database is in the early stages, it has already provided some intriguing initial results. Muhlestein said he and the other researchers can use the database to "show us all of the blond burials, and [it shows] they are clustered in one area, or all of the red-headed burials, and [it shows] they're clustered in another area."
These clusters are interesting because they suggest "perhaps we have family areas or genetic groups [in certain areas], but we're still trying to explore that," Muhlestein said.