|Burial 519 |
|Date(s)||AD 50 - AD 450|
|Site||Kellis 2 Cemetery|
|Location||Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt|
The Dakhleh Oasis is one of the seven oases in Egypt's Western Desert. The Kellis 2 cemetery, which is located in the Dakhleh Oasis town of Kellis southwest of Cairo, is a Roman-Christian Period cemetery, where the remains of a 2-3 year old child were found. The pattern of injuries evidenced suggested that multiple traumas occurred.
The child's upper arms had fractures on both in the same spot. After being compared to clinical literature, the injuries were determined to be consistent with shaking of the child. Damage to ribs and vertebrae may have resulted from direct blows. The exact cause of death remains unknown.
This mummy is of particular interest as this is one of the only instances of suspected child abuse observed in ancient Egypt. It is known that ancient Egyptians revered children, but Roman occupation of Egypt may have influenced this dynamic.
A number of bone fractures were found throughout the body, such as the humerus, ribs, pelvis, and back. The injuries were all in different stages of healing. Of the 158 juveniles excavated from the Kellis 2, Burial 519 is the only one showing signs of repeated trauma.
X-rays, histology (microscopic study of tissues), and isotopic analyses were conducted.