The body of a 2,200 year-old mummy stored in Israel for decades, was examined and was found to have various diseases that prevail today.
The body of Iret Khor-Ero reached the Jesuit Pontifical Biblical Institute in Jerusalem in 1928, a present from Jesuits in Alexandria. Very little was otherwise known about him except, that he originally hailed from Akhmim, some 480 kilometers south of present-day Cairo.
‘Sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits affects man kind, be it stone age or modern-era.’
Khor-Ero had been thought to be a young man, around 17, but the latest analyses indicate that he was in his 40s when he died.
CT scans of the remains show he had osteoporosis and tooth decay. Also, the man was largely sedentary, avoided manual labor in the sun and probably ate a carbohydrate-rich diet.
"Today we have technology to look inside the mummy noninvasively, and can study the processes of embalming, and study the person himself," says Dr. Hila May of Tel Aviv University, one of the scientists who examined Khor-Ero.
They noticed the osteoporosis because of fractures in Khor-Ero's the spine, typical of the brittle bone disease.
"Osteoporosis is a disease that is characteristic of the 20th century, when people don't work so hard. We are glued to screens," said Galit Bennett, who curated the mummy exhibit. "We were very surprised that there were people who didn't do physical work and that it affected their bodies like this man here."