Staff at Addenbrooke’s Hospital may have uncovered a 1,700-year-old murder during tests on an ancient Egyptian child mummy.
Radiographers at the Cambridge hospital made the macabre discovery after they conducted X-ray scans on the mummy from Saffron Walden Museum.
Archaeologists had been keen to find out whether the preserved corpse – which was living in about 350AD – was a boy or a girl after new evidence cast doubt on assumptions the mummy was male.
But the examination on Saturday has possibly revealed a darker mystery from beyond the grave.
Medical experts found the child had suffered a fractured skull and broken collarbone, which is likely to have caused his or her death.
Historians are probing a 1,700-year-old mystery after scans revealed that an ancient Egyptian mummy could have been murdered.
The mummified Egyptian child, who lived around 350AD, underwent scans on Saturday as experts tried to determine its sex.
The mummy, housed at Saffron Walden Museum in Essex, was previously believed to be a boy but new evidence suggests it may have been female.
However, X-rays carried out at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, revealed a darker secret - that the youngster had met a violent death.
They showed that the child - whose sex is still undetermined - had suffered a fractured skull and a broken collarbone before dying.
Neuro-radiographer Halina Szutowicz, who conducted the scans, said that the child could have been murdered.