London - Various Gebelein pre-dynastic mummies, including the notorious West Nile 'Rancid Ginger' from 3400 BC, would not necessarily pass the rigor mortis test according to a British Museum report published today.
Excavated in the 19th century by E A Wallis Budge from the Naga el-Gherira area of the Nubian desert the preserved corpses show remarkable signs of vitality when compared to their supposed 'live' human counterparts.
"Might be the effect of hallucinogens in the mummification process, of course," Museum curator of Middle Kingdom cryogenic studies Dr Sal Volatile commented, "tends to make dessicated limbs a bit twitchy even after 5,000 years."
Embalming techniques studied by the Museum have revealed that Ancient Egyptians began their path to the afterlife around puberty with the regular imbibing of pickling agents made from corn mash, cannabis and Luxor honey.
It meant that thirty-odd years later when the winged escort from the Ancient Book of the Dead arrived to take individuals to the Eternal Kingdom in the sky only small additional amounts of preservative were needed to be used in the final anointing/bandaging rituals.
"Yeah, they were ratarssed most of the time and dropped dead from a variant of West Nile Saturday Night Fever and alcoholism," Dr Volatile added.
"Fancy a tipple of some pre-Etruscan furniture polish we've just exhumed at a dig in the Balkans?"