Quinnipiac professors examine 200-year-old mummified newborn

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HAMDEN--You may not know it, but thousands of years of history sit in a science lab at Quinnipiac University.

Jaime Ullinger, a professor of anthropology at Quinnipiac, showed FOX 61 a mummified infant that the school is currently examining. "This is an infant who has been dissected, and the tissue has been pulled back to reveal mostly the circulatory system," she explained.

Scientists believe the body is 200 years old and was mummified shortly after birth because the baby's height is that of about 40 fetal weeks, or when babies are born.

The mummy was in a Seattle physician's private collection, which his widow donated to the Mutter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.

A woman's mummified arm was found along with the baby.

Because mummifying bodies was a common practice at the time for doctors and scientists who wished to learn more about the human body, Ullinger, who also acts as the co-director of Quinnipiac's Bioanthropology Research Institute, says that "the bigger question is where did the person who preserved this specimen, where did he get it from?"

"People were looking for bodies," Ullinger continued. "They want to know more, they're trying to advance medicine. But there's a problem because they don’t know how, essentially, to acquire them."