Twist of Linen



A twist of linen, perhaps once tied to form a ring used to support a round-based jar. Initially catalogued by Joseph Mayer in 1852 as "Embalmed serpent" (Mayer 1852, 14, no. 116). After Mayer donated his collection to this museum in 1867 it was catalogued by curator Charles Gatty as a "Mummied serpent". In 1910 the collection was catalogued by the Egyptologist Professor Percy Newberry and he changed the description to "Mummy of a small crocodile". In 2001 it was identified as the mummified remains of a large serpent in a coiled position. In October 2016 it was X-rayed and found to contain no animal remains and is merely a twist of linen. CONDITION NOTE 1998: old infestation? dry and hard in places, metal wire wrapped around body, textile fraying and splitting, surface dirt.