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Hungarian Mummies of Vác Reveal The Evidence Of C-Section In Humans  

By Robert Velkey // 2016.04.28.

About 45 kilometres north from the capital on the eastern bank of the Danube lies the city of Vác. From a long forgotten crypt in the Dominican church of the city, mummies were uncovered in 1994-1995 during a routine restoration. Workers discovered the secret crypt that had been bricked up for over 200 years. Inside 265 hand-painted coffins were stacked, one on top of another, in order of size. Hungarian researchers conducted tests on the uncovered mummies and found the first evidence of a C-section. This way, they found the first evidence of a C-section performed on a descent mother, according to Discovery News.

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A number of tests have been performed by scientists on the mummified remains – currently on display at the Roemer und Pelizaues Museum in Hildesheim, Germany – to determine the cause of death. C-sections were thought to have been performed in the 18th century, however this latest find is definitive proof of their use during this period.


“Caesarean section was made exclusively on women who had died in childbirth“, Ildikó Szikossy, senior curator at the Department of Anthropology at the Hungarian National History Museum in Budapest, told Discovery News. “Indeed, alive patients could have not survived the operation at that time”.

Ms. Szikossy and her colleagues found traces of a sharp-edged 5.7 inch long cut, running from the umbilical ring to the public symphysis, in one of the 265 natural mummified bodies kept at the museum.

The mummified remains of 265 people, laid to rest in coffins  between 1731 and 1838 in a church at Vác, Hungary, were found in 1994. Due to the extremely dry settings, the bodies did not decompose but insteaad underwent natural mummification  over time. The findings were extraordinary because detailed inscriptions have survived on those deceased, including their names and dates of death.