Hoax mummy still awaits burial in Pakistan

January 26th, 2008 - 5:01 pm ICT by admin  

London, Jan 26 (ANI): The mummified body of a woman, which was earlier, considered dating back to the 6th century BC and later discovered to be a hoax, is still awaiting burial in the city of Karachi in Pakistan.

According to a report in BBC, Pakistani police discovered the mummy in 2000, during a murder investigation.

After the script on the coffin dated the mummy to 6th century Persia, both Iran and Pakistan claimed it as their own.

But subsequent examination by experts found that the body was not more than a few years old and the woman was apparently mummified by antiques smugglers and touted as an archaeological find.

“It was of a middle-aged woman who probably died in 1996 or 97 because of a broken back,” said Dr Asma Ibrahim, an archaeologist who was then curator of the Karachi Museum and a member of the team that examined the mummy.

As for the evidence for the mummy being a hoax, Asma said, “There were flaws in the ancient script, and a physical examination showed that the process of mummification was also not the same as that followed in ancient Iran.”

The body is now being kept in the mortuary of the Edhi Trust, which is waiting for the police departments of Balochistan and Sindh to authorise the burial.

“Keeping a body in the mortuary for three days costs us 500 rupees and this body has been lying here for seven years,” said Anwar Kazmi, a trust spokesman.

According to Kazmi, Edhi Trust has since written to Karachi Museum for permission to bury the body, but has been told that a clearance must come from the police because the body is property of a criminal case.

But, the police seem to have lost all interest in the case, said Kazmi.

“We have been writing to the authorities in Sindh and Balochistan, but there has been no reply,” he added. (ANI)

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