News of the WeekArchaeology

Unwrapping a Modern Mummy Mystery

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Science  29 Jun 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5526, pp. 2417
DOI: 10.1126/science.292.5526.2417

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BERN-- Last October, police in Pakistan's remote province of Balochistan seized an ornately carved mummy coffin on offer to art dealers for $11 million that was purported to be the 2600-year-old remains of a daughter of King Xerxes. The mummy now appears to have been a relatively recent murder victim or else a body snatched from a grave shortly after death--two grisly scenarios that have scientists digging for clues to her true identity.