Mummified Ibis



This mummy bundle has elaborate diamond patterned wrapping, but X-rays revealed that the contents are not of a complete animal. The conical-shaped bundle contains some vertebrae, a long bone, the skull and beak from a Sacred Ibis. The god Thoth sometimes took the form of the Sacred Ibis bird. Described as from "recent excavations from unstratified deposits, mostly of the Late Period". This mummy was one of many thousands discovered by Professor Walter Bryan Emery for the Egypt Exploration Society at Saqqara. Excavation between 1965 and 1969 (excavation no. 532 from area 3508-157 / H5-1632). Sampled and published in Nature, 2004, as part of a study of complex organic chemical balms of used in the preperation of animal mummies. The mummy was included in the Ancient Egyptian Animal Bio Bank Project (2016) for radiographic analysis (X-ray and CT scanning), specimen no. AEABB686: "Complete mummy bundle containing the incomplete remains of an ibis (skull, beak, vertebrae and ?long bone). There appears to be a dense core which has suffered a fracture which transects the beak of the bird. There is a layer of air between the core and the bandages caused by the settling of the contents as they dried. The CT scan shows how the bundle has been constructed around this central core, including layers of linen secured with horizontal bands of thread before the final external layers were applied. The skeletal remains appears to be very radio-dense (they appear bright white compared to the bandages), perhaps indicating the presence of resin applied directly to the body parts. The majority of the remains can be found towards the proximal end of the bundle (the wider end)."