A mummy that would seemingly be of Egyptian origin has been discovered a long way from its apparent home. A 10-year-old boy found the sarcophagus along with a mummified body in the attic of his house in Diepholz, Germany last month, reports the AFP. But while the sarcophagus is inscribed with Egyptian hieroglyphics and contains preserved human remains, the entire setup may be an elaborate forgery of an ancient artifact: the mummy's wrappings are believed to be machine-made, which would likely date it to within the 20th century.
German police aren't strictly concerned with how old it is — they just want to know that it's old enough. "If [the remains] are a few hundred years old, then it's a mummy and we won't investigate," a police spokesperson reportedly told the DPA. The running theory is that the boy's now-deceased grandfather returned with the mummy as a souvenir from a trip to North Africa in the 1950s. Der Spiegel reports that it's been hidden away in the attic for decades since.
What's beneath the bandages is puzzling
While the mummy's origin is in dispute, that there's a preserved body inside of the wrappings is not. The bandages are yet to be removed, but a CT scan revealed a number of puzzling elements beneath them: a fully preserved skull with an arrowhead inside of it, and a skeleton that's largely intact but is coated with or wrapped in metal, reports Der Spiegel. The body is said to be just about 4 feet 11 inches long, and furthering the suggestions that it may be a forgery, some suspect that it's actually composed of multiple bodies.
The latest from the local prosecutor's office seems to shift the story, however. A spokesperson now tells Der Spiegel that initial results of the death investigation point toward the remains being 2,000 years old — though they aren't providing any findings to back the claim just yet. The mummy is now at a hospital in Hamburg undergoing further investigation, and there are plenty of oddities in the story that it'll have to work toward explaining.