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A 2,000-Year-Old Disembowled Mummy Discovered In Yemen Rubbish Dump

Local residents in Sanaa, Yemen, discovered a 2,000-year-old mummy with its insides missing among piles of garbage. The ancient body was found curled up in a fetal position while wrapped in an animal hide - a standard embalming process from the time.

The mummy was discovered wrapped in animal skins and missing its insides.
The mummy was discovered wrapped in animal skins and missing its insides.

Experts believe the mummy likely died in the third or fourth century BCE. During the time of the Kingdom of Saba - a wealthy and powerful trading empire with vast connections across the Middle East.

The mummy being discovered disemboweled was unusual, and not the funerary practice of the Sabaeans. It is likely the insides were removed by grave robbers.

Researchers say that antiquities smugglers or tomb raiders likely mishandled the remains, resulting in the loss of the mummy's insides.

Authorities say there are signs of rapid decomposition that has occurred due to the mummy being exposed to the sun, water, and other materials it made contact with while in the rubbish pile.

The mummy has been seized by officials and sent to a museum for study and preservation.

The General Organization of Antiquities and Museums said: "It has been taken to the National Museum in Sanaa for preservation and experts from the board will treat it for bacterial decay that started to appear and studies are being conducted."

Abdullah Mohsen, a Yemeni antiquities trafficking researcher, said: "In the land of Saba, Himyar, Qataban; Awsan, Ma'in, and Hadramout, it is natural to find ancient mummies in mountain caves and rocky graves. But the discovery of a mummified body at a Sanaa rubbish dump would be a calamity and the height of irresponsibility."

According to researchers, illegal traffickers who struggle to find buyers often dispose of their finds. Experts believe this is how the mummy ended up in the rubbish dump.

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