Human Remains; Mummified Body



Mummified body purchased by Joseph Mayer in 1850 within a 21st Dynasty coffin inscribed with the name and titles of a priest called Nesamun, a priest of Amun-Re, scribe of divine supplies of the temple of Amun at Thebes, and superintendent of constructions (see Charles Gatty 1879, No 123). It is not completely certain if the mummy is that of Nesamun. The outer shroud is held in place by narrow retaining bandages, and the wrappings at the head have been much disturbed. The pattern of discolouration of the shroud indicates that there were other retaining bandages until comparatively recently. X-rayed in November 1966 (Gray and Slow, 1968 pp.38-41) with further radiograph examination in 2019 by Dr R. Loynes (unpublished). The radiographs of 1966 revealed that apart from the bones of the upper and lower extremities, the skeleton is very disjointed. All the bones show evidence of advanced senile osteoporosis, and there is collapse of one of the mid-dorsal vertebrae. Some spinal arthritic changes are present and the left knee also shows evidence of arthritis. The skull is edentulous (without teeth) and no loose teeth are present amongst the bones. The arms are in the extended position with the hands placed over the pudendum. There is a fracture in the region of the surgical neck of the right humerus. In view of the absence of fractures elsewhere it could have occurred a very short time before death. The bones of the pelvis indicate a male. No lines of arrested growth noted. An assessment in 2019 using CT scans suggested that the pelvis is wider than previously assumed by X-ray in 1966 and that the poorly embalmed body is of a very elderly female.