By Mindy Weisberger
Embalming in ancient Egypt predated the pharaohs, an ancient mummy reveals. That would mean that the practice began at least 1,500 years earlier than once thought.
The mummy — an adult male curled on its left side in a fetal pose — is about 6,000 years old. It was previously thought to be naturally preserved by desert conditions at the site where it was buried. But the first-ever tests performed on the remains showed that the mummy was embalmed, making it the earliest known example of Egyptian mummification, researchers reported in a new study.
Further examination showed that the ancient embalmers used multiple ingredients to preserve the corpse, employing a similar recipe to the ones used 2,500 years later, when mummification in Egypt was at its peak.
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