In Yemen, a 2,000-year-old mummy was found dumped in the garbage with guts torn out

The mummy is shown wrapped in animal skin, placed on a white plastic sheet.  The body is curled on itself.

The mummy found in the trash in Yemen.Yemen General Organization of Antiquities and Museums

  • A 2,000-year-old mummy has been found in a rubbish bin in Yemen.

  • Local officials said the mummy was likely abandoned by grave robbers and antiquities smugglers.

  • The mummy is now in disrepair and officials are scrambling to reverse the damage.

A mummy believed to be about 2,000 years old has been found in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa. The entrails have been pulled out.

Yemen’s General Organization of Antiquities and Museums (GOAM) on Wednesday blamed “grave robbers and antiquities dealers” for unearthing the artifact.

The body was found curled up in a fetal position, wrapped in animal skin, as was customary for embalming at the time. According to Arab news, the smugglers had opened the body of the corpse before dumping it.

Men, one in military garb, look at the mummy wrapped in white cloth

Locals look at mummy found in rubbish in Yemen.Yemen General Organization of Antiquities and Museums

The discovery has sparked anger among locals, who see their rare historical artifacts threatened by the country’s protracted civil war, according to Saudi Arabian daily Arab News.

“It has been taken to the National Museum in Sanaa for safekeeping and board experts will treat it for bacterial decay that started to appear and studies are being conducted,” the organization said, by mail.

Ancient Yemenis were the third people to discover mummification, after the Egyptians and the Chileans, per GOAM.

The remains are likely from the third or fourth century B.C., GOAM said, meaning this individual may have lived during the fabled kingdom of Saba, believed to have been the land of Solomon and the queen of Sheba.

The photo shows the mummy's feet wrapped in animal skin, curled up on itself

Shown here are the mummy’s feet.Yemen General Organization of Antiquities and Museums

The Sabaeans built a lush and prosperous trading empire from their proximity to the sea and strategic geographic position, transporting goods such as frankincense and myrrh across the desert.

Ancient mummies can be found in caves and built-up rocky tombs in Yemen’s Saba, Himyar, Qataban, Awsan, Ma’in and Hadramout provinces, Abdullah Mohsen, a Yemeni researcher who tracks the smuggling of antiquities, said in a Facebook post.

In the midst of one of the world’s most serious humanitarian crises following decades of conflict, Yemenis are also struggling to preserve this ancient heritage.

A 2017 report said power shortages could threaten the preservation of 12 mummies from the Sanaa University Museum in the Yemeni capital.

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