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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.
She said: 'It could have been a fall or an accident, which is most likely with a child. But we can't rule anything out.
'There is plenty in these injuries which could have resulted in the child's death.
'It was very exciting to do these scans. It was a real privilege to be so close to something so old.
'We can't say for sure but we have our suspicions. We will have to wait for the radiologist's opinion before we can say for certain.'
The X-rays were carried out after archaeologist Dr Christina Riggs, from the University of East Anglia, examined the mummy at the Saffron Walden Museum.
The last set of tests carried out 17 years ago concluded that the mummy was a boy.
But Dr Riggs said the painted bandages resembled those used to wrap female mummies in Thebes dating from the same period.
Using the scans to examine the mummy's teeth, wrist and pelvic bones doctors hope to be able to establish the child's age and gender.