Human Remains; Mummified Woman


On display

Mummified body of a young adult woman, very similar in appearance to M13997a. The external bandages are considerably damaged from when the Museum was destroyed by a fire-bomb in May 1941. The limbs have been wrapped separately, and the features of the head and body were modelled with resin before the final bandages were applied. The facial features were painted on the surface of the other covering, and traces of the colour survive, e.g., the eyes. The forehead is bound with a linen fillet which leaves the crown of the head exposed. There is some short, curling reddish hair at the nape of the neck. Each finger was wrapped separately, and the bandages at the feet were arranged to imitate sandals. There is now no trace of the bands of painted linen at the waist and around the limbs which were probably originally placed there as on M13997a. One amulet is still in place; a figure of Hapi, made of gilded wood 35 mm in length, it is stuck on the linen above the right breast.The mummy lies with its head turned to the right. The bandages on the left side have been considerably compressed, and the nose has been damaged, while the head and other parts have at some time been attacked by boring insects. The mummy was CT scanned is 2012 - see Robert Loynes, ‘Prepared for eternity : a study of human embalming techniques in ancient Egypt using computerised tomography scans of mummies’ (Oxford, 2015). The mummy was X-rayed by PHK Gray in November 1966 and the interpretation of the radiograph images below are taken from the 1968 publication of the study (please note that the wrong accession M14047 was used in the publication): SKULL - This is rotated slightly to the right, and there are no obvious fractures. The cranial cavity appears empty. The mouth is closed, and all teeth appear to be present. However, a lower left premolar is lying loose and the caps of the teeth show evidence of dental attrition. The cervical spine appears intact; THORAX, ABDOMEN AND PELVIS -The majority of the left and lower right ribs have been detached from their costo-vertebral articulations. They lie loose, but are not fractured. There is some sclerosis of the vertebral end-plates giving, at first sight, an impression of opacification of the disc spaces. The lower end-plate of the tenth dorsal vertebra has become detached, and there is some subluxation of the spinal column at this site. Irregular masses of packing material lie within the thorax. These probably represent resin impregnated linen. Apart from some subluxation of the pubic symphysis and both sacro-iliac joints no abnormality is noted. The treatment of the body cavity indicates that evisceration has been performed, and is very similar in manner to that of B.M. 6704 (Dawson and Gray, 1968). In the case of B.M. 6704 both thoracic apices and the pelvic cavity have been tightly packed with a mixture of what is probably mud, sand and resin, and lying between, within the body cavity, are four dense, homogeneous, cylindrical opacities. The pelvis of Liverpool 1 shows evidence of similar packing, but a cylindrical mass lies in the region of either iliac bone. Two other cylindrical masses may lie centrally, but are obscured by the main packing; ARMS - Extended. The palms of the hands, fingers extended, rest upon the outer aspect of the thighs. Comminuted fractures are present in the lower end of both radii and ulnae. These are most likely post-mortem; LEGS - The bones and joints appear within normal limits. Owing to technical difficulties, the ankles and feet were not X-rayed.