About this object

Mummified Nile perch fish wrapped in bandages and bound together with numerous concentric windings of palm fibre rope. Thousands of pilgrims travelled to sacred sites throughout Egypt to give offerings to the gods. Many places in the Nile Valley and the Delta were linked to different gods and their animal cults. Nile perch were fish sacred to the goddess Neith and mummified at Esna where this fish mummy was buried.

The mummy was X-rayed and CT imaged at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital on 19th April 2016 as part of the University of Manchester’s Animal Bio Bank Project (no. AEABB652). Report by Lidija McKnight and Stephanie Woolham: "Complete and articulated skeleton of a fish with a thin layer of linen bound with papyrus reed. The skeleton appears to be a good condition compared to other fish mummies – there is no obvious fracturing and displacement of the bones, presumably because the style of wrapping has helped to keep everything in position".

Object specifics

  • Type
    Animal Remains
  • Culture
    Late Period; Ptolemaic - Romano-Egyptian
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Esna
  • Date made
    664 BC - AD 200 about
  • Materials
    Fish; Fibre Plant; Textile
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, Ancient Egypt Gallery
  • Acquisition
    Gift of the Egyptian Excavations Committee of the Institute of Archaeology, Liverpool
  • Collector
    Liverpool University Institute of Archaeology
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Esna
  • Date collected
    1906
  • Measurements
    40 mm x 90 mm x 270 mm
  • Related people
    Liverpool University Institute of Archaeology (Collector, previous owner)

Explore related

Publications

Events

  • 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

  • Liverpool Excavations at Esna 1905-1906

    Start date: 1905
    End date: 1905
    Description: Excavations directed by John Garstang of the University of Liverpool Institute of Archaeology on behalf of the Egyptian Excavations Committee and the Institute of Archaeology during 1905 - 1906. The cemetery is near 'Hagar Esna' about 4 km to the north west of Esna town, on the west bank of the Nile. Garstang inspected the site in 1904 and was convinced that it was important and unless excavation was undertaken as soon as possible very little would survive the systematic plundering which was flourishing at that time. The first season of work lasted from March to early May 1905 and was conducted by Garstang's assistant, Harold Jones, while Garstang was busy at the site of Hierakonpolis and at Dakke. A second season began in January 1906 and continued for 5 weeks working with 100 Egyptian workmen. again the work was mainly directed by Jones, while Garstang continued his work in Nubia, at Dakke and Koshtamneh. After leaving Esna Garstang and Jones moved on to concentrate on the excavation at Abydos. The Garstang Museum of Archaeology (Liverpool University) hold 110 glass negatives, antiquities and field notes from the excavations. BIBLIOGRAPHY: John Garstang, 'Excavations at Hierakonpolis, at Esna and in Nubia'. Annales du Service des Antiquities de l’Egypte 8 (1907) pp. 132-148. Dorothy Downes, The excavations at Esna, 1905-1906. (Warminster, 1974).

Ownership

Previous owners

Object view = Humanities
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