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Questions about mummies and bog bodies

How many mummies have you found? How old is the oldest mummy? And also how young are the smallest mummies?

Dr. dig responds:
I haven't excavated any mummies myself, but I've seen loads of mummies which have been found not just in Egypt but all over the world. Mummies come in all different shapes and sizes and can be the remains of a person of any age. Archaeologists have even found the remains of newborn babies that were mummified. The Egyptians even mummified cats and other animals as well! Here are some cool mummy facts for you to share with your friends:

The oldest mummy: A mummy at the Nevada State Museum, thought to be about 2,000 years old when it was discovered in a Nevada cave in 1940, was tested using modern dating techniques in April 1996. The Spirit Cave man was found to be more than 9,400 years old. Anthropologists hope the well-preserved body will give insights into the life at the end of the ice age. (Guiness Book of World Records 1998)

The oldest known Egyptian mummy is that of a high-ranking young woman who was buried c.2,600 B.C. near the Great Pyramid of Cheops at Giza, or Al-Gizeh, Egypt. Her remains were discovered on March 17, 1989, but only her skull was intact. (Guiness Book of World Records 1998)

The oldest known complete Egyptian mummy is of Wati, a court musician of 2,400 B.C. from the tomb of Nefer in Saqqara, Egypt, found in 1944. (Guiness Book of World Records 1998)


When you find a mummy, how do you know how old it is?

Dr. dig responds:
Some Egyptian mummies are dated by the name of the pharaoh which is inscribed in the tomb, other mummies can be dated using scientific methods, such as Carbon 14 dating.


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