Boy Finds Mummy In Germany: Did Alexander Kettler Discover An Authentic Ancient Egyptian Corpse?

By Philip Ross on August 5, 2013 11:49 AM EDT

boy finds mummy
A boy finds a mummy (not pictured) in Germany, stuffed in his grandmother’s attic. His father believes the wrapped corpse may be the real deal. (Photo: Reuters)

A boy finds a mummy inside a sarcophagus hidden in his grandmother's attic. The Local reports that 10-year-old Alexander Kettler climbed into his grandmother's attic in Diepholz, northern Germany, after a leak in the roof led him up there. While rummaging through her things, Kettler stumbled upon an old chest that had a mummy inside it. There was also a canopic jar, which ancient Egyptians used to store removed organs, and a death mask. The father of the boy who found the mummy has taken the wrapped corpse to Berlin to be examined for authenticity.

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Is the discovery just fool's gold, or did 10-year-old Alexander Kettler chance upon a genuine ancient Egyptian mummy?

According to The BBC, the sarcophagus and other artifacts are probably fake. Lutz Wolfgang Kettler, the father of the boy who finds a mummy, said Friday he believes it's "indisputable that they are replicas." However, he believes the mummy is the real deal.

Lutz Kettler described how his father had traveled to North Africa in the 1950s, where he apparently came across ancient Egyptian artifacts. He remembers his dad talking about a chest he found during his travels and had shipped back to Germany.

According to History.com, in the 1800s and into the 1900s, "Egyptomania" took hold of the Western world. People were obsessed with Egyptian artifacts, including mummies. This hysteria over ancient culture is probably best exemplified in the popular mummy unwrapping parties of the day. People of wealth and status hosted parties in which guests were invited to witness a mummy get unwrapped.

"Everyone wanted one of these invites. It was the great social occasion," one mummy specialist and Egyptologist told History.

The mummy discovered in the attic in Germany has been there for at least 40 years, Lutz Kettler said. It's possible the mummy was purchased by Kettler's father during the height of "Egyptomania." 

Read more from iScience Times:

Inca Mummies: 500-Year-Old Child Sacrifice Victims Given Drugs And Alcohol Before Ritual Deaths [STUDY]

Spinning Statue: 4,000-Year-Old Egyptian Relic Mysteriously Rotates On Its Own [VIDEO]

N.M. Mummified Body: Who Was Chicana Author Barbara Salinas-Norman And Why Was She Found Dead In Santa Fe Apartment?

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