Human Remains; Mummified Body of Nesmin



Mummified remains of a male adult named Nesmin, who was a priest at the temple of Min at Akhmim. Nesmin’s father was also a priest and was named Ankhhap. Nesmin’s name and that of his father are inscribed on his coffin. The outer wrappings are covered with a layer of blackened resin. Placed over this are a mask, pectoral and apron, all made of cartonnage. The mask is gilded, and the scenes are painted in red, blue, gold and black on a white ground. On the pectoral, below a winged scarab and a necklace of rosettes and lotus petals with hawk-head terminals, is a figure of the goddess Nut. Below this the mummy lies on a bier with Isis and Nephthys at the head and feet and surrounded by funerary deities. In 1929 Warren Dawson describes a fourth piece of cartonnage enclosing the feet “known as the boot” but this now damaged and kept separate (accession no. 56.22.586). Dawson describes how the four pieces of cartonnage “were sewn on to the outer shroud, which was often dyed red” (Dawson, 1929: 189). Nesmin was purchased by Lieutenant-Colonel Andrew Haggard at Akhmim in 1886 who believed the body to be on Potiphar’s wife from the Book of Genesis’s account of Joseph. Lieutenant-Colonel Haggard sent Nesmin and his coffin to his brother, Sir Henry Rider Haggard, who kept Nesmin in his west London home and then at the Pantechnicon storage warehouse on Motcomb Street, London. Henry Haggard sent Nesmin to Norwich Castle Museum, writing on 30 July 1886 that Nesmin should be accepted as being presented by Lt. Col. Haggard of the Egyptian army for public display. In 1956 much of Norwich's Egyptian collection was purchased by Liverpool, including Nesmin and his coffin. X-rayed in November 1966 with the following interpretation of the radiographs: The diffuse opacity shown in the region of the left flank probably represents a resin impregnated linen swab covering the embalming wound. …There is partial calcification of the costal cartilages, and some arthritic changes are shown in the lower lumbar region. …The [arms] are folded upon the breast, right almost certainly being uppermost. The hands are in the shoulder areas, left fingers clenched, right extended” (Gray and Slow, 1968 p. 56). CT scanned by Dr R. Loynes in.2012 (Loynes, 2015).