Sunday, July 15, 2007

Breasts Key Clue to Hatshepsut's Obesity

Discovery Channel (Rossella Lorenzi)

When mummy experts piece together what an ancient person looked like in real life, one key to body type that's a dead giveaway is the size of the mummy's breasts. Paleopathologists who have been trying to reconstruct the appearance of Hatshepsut — whose mummy is the subject of a Discovery Channel documentary on Sunday, July 15 — say they know that Egypt's greatest female pharaoh was obese in part because her breasts were so very large, even after 3,000 years.

"Huge and pendulous," Hatshepsut's upper girth immediately caught the attention of mummy experts, according to Zahi Hawass, Egypt's secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

Egyptologist and paleopathologist Bob Brier, one of the world's foremost experts on mummies, told Discovery News: "Breasts are one clear indication of obesity in female mummies. It is fairly simple: fat is deposited there, the skin stretches and that skin does not retract with mummification. So it is easy to see excess skin in the
area of the breasts."

2 comments:

K Johnston said...

Once again, Brier is spouting off "facts" with a wobbly set of supporting evidence. Guess the Discovery Channel and Bob don't make money by dwelling on the details...

Anonymous said...

Brier is a lot of wind, with way too much publicity. Truly he fits Shakespear's play, "Much ado about nothing."