Crocodile Mummy


About this object

Mummy of a complete and articulated crocodile well wrapped and modelled in brown and undyed linen bandages. The arrangement of the bandages, in geometrical patterns using interlaced dyed strips of material, follows a style which is common in the Ptolemaic and Romano-Egyptian periods and it allows us to date the mummy to about the 1st century AD.

The mummy was X-rayed in 1995 at National Museums Liverpool’s Conservation Centre, for a permanent exhibition, "Caught in Time", which explored the different ways conservators work with museum collections. X-rays identified the presence of two juvenile crocodiles placed on the back of the primary individual and what appears to be a tooth of a larger crocodile. The mummy was X-rayed and CT imaged at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital on 9th April 2015 as part of the University of Manchester’s Animal Bio Bank Project. The radiograph report noted “the skull is presented in a slightly elevated position, possibly due to fracture and curvature of the spine. The skull appears complete with no signs of fatal trauma. An osteoderm from a larger crocodile is visible on top of the primary individual in line with the front limbs. A packet of bones has been tucked under one of the rear limbs”.

Purchased from the collection formed by George Annesley, 2nd Earl of Mountnorris, Viscount Valentia (1770-1844) at the sale held at Arley Castle in December 1852. Most of the collection was obtained between 1817-20 from Henry Salt, whilst he was British consul-general in Egypt.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Animal Remains
  • Culture
    Probably Romano-Egyptian
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Thebes
  • Date made
    1st Century AD
  • Materials
    Crocodile; Textile
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, Ancient Egypt Gallery
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Joseph Mayer
  • Collector
    Annesley, George Arthur, 9th Viscount Valentia
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Thebes
  • Date collected
    1820 about
  • Measurements
    100 mm x 145 mm x 1010 mm
  • Related people
    Annesley, George Arthur, 9th Viscount Valentia ( Collector, previous owner); Joseph Mayer ( Previous owner)


Previous owners

Object view = Humanities
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