About this object

Mummy of a young boy with decorative wrapping and a painted panel portrait. The bandaging was described by the excavator, Flinders Petrie, as the most perfect example of the complex system of diagonal winding. The colours have now faded, but the thirteen layers were, from the outside, gilt, red, white, red, white, red, white, blue, white, red, white, brown and white. No studs were necessary to hold the bandages in place. The portrait is damaged, but was originally very fine. It is probably that the damage was due to weathering and occurred during the time that elapsed between the preparation of the mummy and the actual burial (Shore, 1962). An amulet, probably metallic, lies within the mouth on the surface of the tongue. The excavator, Professor Flinders Petrie thought that the face was that of a girl, but radiographs prove that it is the portrait of a very young boy. The mummy was X-rayed by PHK Gray in November 1966 and the interpretation of the radiograph images below is taken from the 1968 publication of the study:

Flexed. The mouth is closed, and all teeth appear to be present. There are no obvious fractures, but some granular material seems to be present in the left side of the cranial cavity. An amulet, probably metallic, lies within the mouth on the surface of the tongue.

The body cavities appear to be free from packing material. Owing to tight bandaging, the thoracic cage shows evidence of compression, the ribs being dislocated at their costo-vertebral articulations but not fractured. The spinal column appears within normal limits, and the intervertebral disc spaces are not opaque.

The bones and joints appear normal, but a saucer-shaped object (almost certainly made of the same material as the amulet within the mouth) has been placed over the genitalia.

Extended. The palms of the hands, fingers extended, rest upon the anterior aspect of the thighs. No fractures or dislocations seen.

The bones and joints appear within normal limits. No lines of arrested growth, fractures or dislocations seen.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Animal Remains
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Hawara
  • Date made
    100 AD - 150 AD about
  • Materials
    Human Body; Linen Textile Plant; Pigment; Metal
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, Ancient Egypt Gallery
  • Acquisition
    Gift of the British School of Archaeology in Egypt, 1911
  • Collector
    British School of Archaeology in Egypt
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Hawara
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    290 mm x 290 mm x 900 mm
  • Related people
    British School of Archaeology in Egypt (Collector, previous owner)

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Previous owners

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