Tell me about your mummies

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Bandaged head

The face of a mummy in the mummy store room (inv. M14048).

A good part of my job as a curator is researching our collections and making information available to the public. Sometimes this work is in response to specific questions and this week I've been preparing information about our collection of ancient Egyptian mummies for different researchers who study ancient human remains. There are 7 mummies in the Ancient Egypt gallery at World Museum but you can only see 6 as one of the mummies is within a closed coffin, just like when it was found in a tomb by an archaeologist from Liverpool University in 1905.

In our mummy store room there are many more mummies that are just as interesting. The mummy in the photograph is very unusual because the bandages were painted: if you look carefully you can see painted eyes and eyebrows. Also, the scalp was not bandaged and the hair was left on show. The mummy belongs to a well-known type datable to the Roman Period (about AD 200 - 300), of which there are 8: 2 in Liverpool (1 on display and 1 in storage) 3 in Leiden, 1 in London, 1 in Rio de Janeiro & 1 in Avignon, and probably more yet to be identified!