The Dakhleh Oasis is one of the seven oases in Egypt's Western Desert. In a Roman-Christian Period cemetery, evidence of a 2-3 year old abused child was found. While there are no specific fractures that can be used to diagnose child abuse, the pattern of injuries suggested that multiple non-accidental traumas occurred.
Interestingly enough, the child's upper arms had fractures on both arms in the same spot. After being compared to clinical literature, the injuries were determined to be consistent with shaking of the child with the arms as handles. Damage to ribs and vertebrae would have likely resulted from direct blows. While the exact cause of death remains unknown, archaeologist hypothesize that it was the final clavicle fracture that killed the child.
This mummy is of particular interest as this is one of the only instances of child abuse observed in Egypt. it is known that ancient Egyptians revered children, but Roman occupation of Egypt may have influenced this dynamic. The degree to which Roman ideals affected Egyptian society is still explored today.