The ornate sarcophagus was unearthed in the 1920s, but it is just now being opened and examined. Inside, 14-year-old Minirdis, the son of an important stolist priest, lies wrapped in a gold painted shroud. His body is almost perfectly preserved, but no one has seen what's underneath—with the exception of his little toes that are peeking out. The fear is that removing the fabric will cause the ancient face to crumble away forever. It's unknown if his face will ever be revealed, but at the very least, the general public is being treated to a sneak peek at the boy's well preserved foot.
The Field Museum has been holding on to this treasure since receiving it from the Chicago Historical Society. It's general policy to mess with the mummies as little as possible, to avoid any further damage to the artifact.
"There's always a risk of damage," scientist J. P. Brown told the Daily Mail. "So we like to handle these things as little as possible."
The team took x-rays of the sarcophagus before opening it, to get an idea of what kind of damage to expect. The fabric and mask are torn and distorted, but will undergo repairs.