Near Perfect Vascular Prints Found Inside 2000 Year Old Skull

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Published: 2 Oct 2014      

It may be a relatively new field of medicine, but it appears that even the ancient Egyptians may have had some interest in the vascular sciences.

A recently discovered mummy, which is belileved to be an astonishing 2,000 years old, has been discovered. That on its own would be great news for the archaeology industry but what is even more fascinating for those in the medical industry is that the mummy was found with a near perfect imprint of the vascular makeup of the blood vessels surrounding the brain inside its skull.

Albert Isidro and his team have been examining the skull, claiming that the imprint has been captured with "exquisite anatomical details."

He continues "The conditions in this case must have been quite extraordinary," as traditionally Egyptians removed the brain from the skull as part of the process of mummification.

In this case however it is believed that they chose the coat the inside of the deceaseds skull with some form of preservative, which did a remarkable job of capturing the detail of the fragile structures within the brain and skull.

It is not yet known why this process was undertaken for this particular mummy, which was found in the Kom al-Ahmar/Sharuna necropolis, however it is truly a remarkable discovery that hints at the possibility that cultures as old as the ancient Egyptians were interested in the functionality of the brain and discovering how the mind works.

For those interested the full report of the phenomena is in the journal Cortex and it makes for an extremely interesting read. It only leaves us to wonder if there are even more examples of this practice that remain undiscovered and what, if any, was its purpose.

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