Tiny coffin reveals youngest preserved fetus from ancient Egypt

The  immaculate wooden coffin, which holds the youngest  Egyptian mummy, dates to around 664-525 BC.

(CNN)For more than a century, the teeny tiny coffin hid a big secret: the youngest mummy in ancient Egypt.

British archaeologists revealed this week that a miniature coffin under their care contained the youngest human fetus ever uncovered in ancient Egypt.
"This discovery is the only academically verified specimen to exist at only 16 to 18 weeks of gestation," University of Cambridge said in a statement.
    The coffin made of cedarwood dates to around 664-525 BC, and highlights the value of burial rituals in ancient Egypt, even at such a young age.

      Dug up decades ago

      The diminutive coffin was excavated in the Egyptian city of Giza in 1907.
      But researchers left it alone for years, believing the small bundle inside contained gruesome mummified organs from embalming procedures.
      A micro CT scan revealed the first pictures of a tiny human body held within an Egyptian mummy
      An X-ray imaging at the Fitzwilliam Museum, which is the university's antiquities facility, was inconclusive, the university said.
      A micro CT scan at Cambridge University's zoology department later revealed the first pictures of a tiny mummified human body held within undisturbed wrappings.