Mother and child mummies get autopsy 300 years after their death

History is full of surprises and some surprises have mystery behind them. We always marvel how people in old ages used to live without all the technology and medicines and everything that we take for granted.


In 1994, some 250 odd mummies were found in Hungary, buried neatly in caskets and some of the bodies were very well preserved and have been waiting for 300 years in order for the correct technology to be found, so that the mystery behind their death can be solved.

In order to so, scientists are going to use world class medical technology to find out what actually happened to the people who were buried with such preservation and respect in a holy place. Find out for yourselves, what the scientists did to the mummies and how they plan to find out what killed these people 300 years ago.


1 The mother son duo

The mummified bodies are of 38-year-old Veronica Skripetz and her one year old son Johann. The bodies of the mother and son are over 300 years old and were found during an excavation in a Church in 1994 in Hungary. The mother and son were suspected to die of Tuberculosis and the doctors wanted to know what exactly happened to them. That’s why the doctors decided to perform a virtual autopsy on the mummified remains of the bodies. The doctors also decided to perform CT scans on the bodies.

The mother son duo

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2 Discovery

The bodies were discovered in the year 1994 and are among 250 more bodies that were found in a Church in Vac, Hungary. Anthropologist Ildiko Szikossy was a part of the team that had found the mummies and other 250 bodies from a Church, where they were preserved well in caskets. Experts estimated that the death of the mummies happened 300 years ago, but what they couldn’t estimate was how they died. Scientists are speculating that the deaths happened due to tuberculosis, but there is uncertainty about the exact cause because in the 18th century, Europe was flooded with many diseases and infections and the team wanted to perform tests and scans to ascertain the cause of death.


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3 The CT scans

The mummies were wheeled in on stretchers at the Orange County Global Medical Center in California. The doctors used the latest 3D CT scanning technology to scan the mummies and also performed a virtual autopsy. “To scan and be real time with a mummy is certainly a treat for everybody in the hospital,” said Dr. Maurice Yu of OC Global.

A team of experts have taken multiple scans of the mummies and will now recreate piece by piece how their lives were in 1800s and under what conditions did they live and most importantly how did they die, a mystery that has been waiting for over 300 years to get solved.

The CT scans

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4 Hope of findings

The finding of the mummies’ CT scan will be revealed at the Bowers Museum during the ‘Mummies of the World’ exhibition that runs till September 2016. “Now we can find answers on how they lived, and why many children died during their early childhood. There were no antibiotics, and there were no vaccinations. The child mortality was very high … We can tell that yes, it’s very sad”, Anthropologist Ildiko Szikossy said.

Jim Sutherland, with the Horus Mummy Research Group said “The mother looks really intact, top to bottom, and the baby, it has some minor disruption, separated bones, we never really know what we’re going to find. We’re kind of unwrapping a surprise package.”


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