About this object

This mummy is in the shape of animal, possibly a lamb, lying down with the legs folded under the body and the head held upright. The bandaging is in a plaited pattern of alternating strips of plain and dyed linen. X-rays and CT scans show this miniature ram-shaped mummy is mainly constructed from wooden sticks and small bones, likely belonging to a sheep foetus.

The mummy was first X-rayed in the museum's conservation centre on 14 August 2008 and showed a small bundle of bones inside. Then in 2015 as part of the University of Manchester’s Animal Bio Bank Project we took the mummy to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital on 9th April 2015 for analysis by X-ray and CT scans.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Animal Remains
  • Culture
    Probably Romano-Egyptian
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt
  • Date made
    332 BC - AD 394
  • Materials
    Animal Parts; Textile
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 2, Temporary Exhibition Space
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Joseph Mayer
  • Collector
    Joseph Mayer
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt
  • Date collected
    Before 1867
  • Measurements
    90 mm x 70 mm x 120 mm
  • Note
    Compare with three similar mummies in the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden (AMM 16e; BA 217; BA 218). Raven and Taconis, 'Egyptian Mummies' (Turnhout, 2005) pp. 268-270
  • Related people
    Joseph Mayer (Associated Person, collector, previous owner)

Where is this object from?

Explore related


  • Catalogue of the Egyptian Museum, No. VII, Colquitt Street, Liverpool

    Mayer, Joseph

    Author: Mayer, Joseph
    Publisher: Joseph Mayer
    Date: 1852
    Description: Joseph Mayer published a catalogue of his collection in 1852, whilst it was at his Egyptian Museum in Colquitt Street. This is before he donated his collection to the Liverpool Free Public Museums in 1867 so his entries do not include the accession numbers that the objects now bear.

  • Catalogue of the Mayer Collection Part 1. The Egyptian, Babylonian and Assyrian Antiquities. Second and Revised Edition.

    Gatty, Charles

    Author: Gatty, Charles
    Publisher: The Committee of the Liverpool Free Public Library, Museum and Gallery of Art
    Date: 1879
    Description: Catalogue of most of Joseph Mayer's Egyptian and Near Eastern collection that was on display. It also includes a small number of other collections, such as those given by Mr William Crosfield in 1861, some by Mr Charles Stoess in 1869, and others by Mr J. A. Tinne in 1870. Occasionally reference will be made to the provenance of objects, in particular if they are from the Jospeh Sams or Lord Valentia (ex Henry Salt) collections. There are illustrations of some objects, in particular the amulets, by Mr Ll. Jewitt, FSA. Compared to Mayer's 1852 cataloue there are more detailed descriptions for inscribed objects such as stelae, giving names and titles and the character of the text, provided by Samuel Birch of the British Museum who visited the collections in March 1877.


  • Gifts for the Gods: Animal Mummies Revealed

    Start date: 2015-10-08
    End date: 2015-10-08
    Description: This fascinating exhibition explores ancient Egyptian animal mummies, prepared in their millions as votive offerings to the gods. Discover the background behind this religious practice in the context of life in ancient Egypt and the environment in which the animals lived. Featuring mummified specimens such as jackals, crocodiles, cats and birds, the exhibition will also include a recreation of a subterranean animal catacomb, creating an immersive and atmospheric experience. Using animal mummies from a variety of UK collections, the exhibition will also look at the use of science, such as CT imaging, to learn more about the subject. World Museum has worked on this exhibition in partnership with Manchester Museum, Glasgow Museums and The University of Manchester. The touring exhibition will be hosted at three cities - Manchester: 8 October 2015 2016 - 17 April 2016 Glasgow: May 2016 - June 2016 Liverpool:14 October 2016 - 26 February 2017


Previous owners

  • Joseph Mayer

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1867
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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