Mummified Ibis

42.18.1
The ibis was a bird held sacred to Thoth, the god of scribes and writing. The long beak of the ibis reminded the Egyptians of a scribe’s pen dipped in ink. Worshippers donated bronze and faience figures or the mummified remains of an ibis as gifts to Thoth. 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 (ref. no. AEABB685). This is an extract from the report written by Lidija McKnight and Stephanie Woolham: “Complete mummy bundle containing the skeletal remains of a juvenile ibis. The spine has been arranged in the S-shaped position with the head along the breastbone. The legs appear to be folded up, and although the feet are not directly visible, it is likely that they are present, but obscured by the superimposed features. There is an egg-shaped mass visible in the centre of the bundle which appears to be granular in nature. The inner layers of wrappings are haphazard in their formation, with the outer layer appearing to be more uniform, giving the bundle a neat exterior. The bird is juvenile, indicated by the presence of epiphyses on the long bones and the short length of the beak.”