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12/26/2012 11:41 am ET

2012 In Mummies: Top Mummification Discoveries This Year

2012 was a great year for mummy discoveries around the world. From the fascinating to the bizarre, this year's mummified corpses have given a peek into the lives of people living thousands of years ago, and it wasn't always pretty.

Many of the discoveries give insight into a gruesome past, like the arrow wound that likely killed the notorious 'Iceman Otzi,' or the discovery of a fatal throat wound that killed a famous Egyptian pharaoh. Other mummies showed signs of unusual rituals, like the 2,500-year-old princess unearthed with elaborate, well-preserved tattoos, or the Egyptian corpse found with a brain-removal tool left lodged in her head.

And while some of the mummies discovered this year were Egyptian, others came from regions nowhere near the pyramids--from South America to the British Isles to Siberia, mummification has been practiced by many disparate cultures.

Check out the slideshow below to see this year's most harrowing mummies.

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2012 In Mummies
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2012 In Mummies

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Otzi The Iceman Mummy
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Otzi The Iceman Mummy

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