Mummy Shroud

1973.4.503
Representation of the deceased as the god Osiris painted on linen. This is a small fragment from a large painted linen shroud that once was wrapped around a mummified body. It probably dates to circa AD 100 - 200 when it was known for greater attention to be devoted to the external appearance of the wrapped mummy. Shrouds were painted with portraits representing the deceased in poses adapted from Hellenistic Greek repertoire. This shroud depicts the transfigured dead person who has assumed the identity of Osiris, appearing in mummy form in frontal pose. Osiris is wearing the atef crown with a plume on either side and a small disc and uraeus at the centre. His hands clasping across his chest hold the flail and sceptre of Egypt. The old label says the shroud was found in Thebes, but it may be from as far north as Memphis. Photographs have been sent to the subject specialist Dr Jónatan Ortiz Garcia who wrote “could be made in Memphis (found in Saqqara) during the 1st century BC" (pers. com. with Ashley Cooke, November 2014). It is very similar in style to the lower part of a shroud now in Brooklyn Museum, New York, and the two may very well have once belonged together .