About this object

Skeleton of an adult with six shell bracelets preserved on each arm. The feet and hands are missing. The bones of the skeleton are marked by the excavator in pencil, "107 K'06". There is a photograph from 1906 in the Garstang Museum of Archaeology of the skeleton showing a contracted burial with pottery and other personal items such as a cosmetic palette.

The skeleton is displayed in a reconstructed burial shows a typical ‘sand burial’ from about 5,200 years ago, just before the introduction of writing. Like other burials of this time she rests on her left side with her hands in front of her face, as if sleeping. Jars containing food and drink suggest they believed in some form of an afterlife. Even after the introduction of coffins most people were still buried in simple shallow pits dug into the dry desert sand. Mummification was a skilled and time-consuming process which few could afford.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Animal Remains
  • Culture
    Nubian (A Group)
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Kostamneh
  • Date made
    3300 BC - 2900 BC about
  • Materials
    Shell; Bone Human
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, Ancient Egypt Gallery
  • Acquisition
    Gift of University of Liverpool
  • Collector
    Liverpool University Institute of Archaeology
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Kostamneh
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
  • Related people
    Liverpool University Institute of Archaeology (Collector, previous owner)

Explore related


  • 'Excavations at Hierakonpolis, at Esna, and in Nubia', in Annales du Service des Antiquitiés de l’Égypte volume 8, pp. 132-148

    Garstang, John

    Author: Garstang, John
    Publisher: Annales du Service des Antiquitiés de l’Égypte
    Date: 1907
    Description: Brief account of John Garstang's fieldwork in Upper Egypt between 1905 - 1906. The article is available online [http://archive.org/stream/annalesduservice08egypuoft#page/132/mode/1up accessed 19 Feb 2015]


  • Liverpool Excavations at Kostamneh, 1906

    Start date: 1906
    End date: 1906
    Description: Excavation of an A-Group and C-Group cemetery at Kostamneh, Nubia (near el-Dakka) directed by John Garstang of the University of Liverpool Institute of Archaeology on behalf of the Egyptian Excavations Committee in 1906. The site is within the area of Lower Nubia between the 1st and 2nd Nile cataracts, about 6 miles north of Quban (ancient Egyptian 'Baki'; Greek 'Contra Pselchis') but is now beneath the waters of Lake Nasser. The Garstang Museum of Archaeology (University of Liverpool) has 84 glass negatives, antiquities, some field notes and pottery corpus from the excavations. Other antiquities are known to be in museums at Manchester, Bolton and Glasgow. Bibliography John Garstang, 'Excavations at Hierakonpolis, at Esna and in Nubia'. Annales du Service des Antiquities de l’Egypte 8 (1907) pp. 139-141.


Previous owners

Object view = Humanities
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