About this object

The mummifed body of an adult male called Nesmin, son of Ankh-hap. The outer wrappings of the mummy are covered with a layer of blackened resin, damaged at the feet, and the mummy itself is very solid and heavy. Over this outer layer lie a cartonnage mask, pectoral and apron. The mask is gilded, and the scenes are painted in red, blue, gold and black on a white ground. On the pectoral, below a winged scarab and a necklace of rosettes and lotus petals with hawk-head terminals, is a figure of the goddess Nut. Below this the mummy lies on a bier with Isis and Nephthys at the head and feet and surrounded by funerary deities. In 1929 Warren Dawson describes a fourth piece of cartonnage enclosing the feet “known as the boot” but this now damaged and kept separate (accession no. 56.22.586). Dawson describes how the four pieces of cartonnage “were sewn on to the outer shroud, which was often dyed red” (Dawson, 1929: 189). The mummy was X-rayed by PHK Gray in November 1966 and the interpretation of the radiograph images below is taken from the 1968 publication of the study:

Skull - There are no obvious fractures, and the mouth is closed. There are a few teeth remaining in the maxilla, but the lower jaw appears edentulous. The cervical spine seems intact.

Thorax and Abdomen - Apart from a layer of resin and a cylindrical mass lying obliquely in the left hypochondrium the cavities appear empty. The diffuse opacity shown in the region of the left flank probably represents a resin impregnated linen swab covering the embalming wound. Other than a crack fracture of the left 10th rib the bony cage and spinal column appear intact. There is partial calcification of the costal cartilages, and some arthritic changes are shown in the lower lumbar region. There is no opacification of the intervertebral discs.

Pelvis - No abnormality is noted apart from sacralisation of the left transverse process of the 5th lumbar vertebra.

Arms - These are folded upon the breast, right almost certainly being uppermost. The hands are in the shoulder areas, left fingers clenched, right extended.

Legs - No fractures or dislocations seen. There is either an epiphyseal scar or line of arrested growth at the lower end of either tibia. Both internal menisci are opaque. The feet appear normal.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Animal Remains
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Akhmim
  • Date made
    332 BC (early Ptolemaic Period)
  • Materials
    Body-Part Human; Gold; Pigment; Resin; Wood; Linen
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, Ancient Egypt Gallery
  • Acquisition
    Purchased from the collections of Norwich Castle Museum
  • Collector
    Andrew C P Haggard
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Akhmim
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    250 mm x 390 mm x 1560 mm
  • Note
    The mummy and coffin of Nesmin were collected by Lieutenant-Colonel Andrew Haggard at Akhmim in 1886 who believed that the mummy was female and apparently that of Potiphar’s wife from the Book of Genesis’s account of Joseph. Lieutenant-Colonel Haggard sent the mummy and coffin to his brother, Sir Rider Haggard, who kept the mummy and coffins in his west London home and then at the Pantechnicon storage warehouse on Motcomb Street, London. On 30 July 1886 he wrote to Norwich Castle Museum, Norfolk, to say he was forwarding the mummy here where it should be accepted as being presented by Lt. Col. Haggard of the Egyptian army for public display. In 1956 much of Norwich's Egyptian collection was purchased by Liverpool, including Nesmin's mummy and coffin, which were put on permanent exhibition in 2008. Bibliography: Warren Dawson, 'A Note on the Egyptian Mummies in the Castle Museum, Norwich' in the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology vol. 15 (1929), pp. 186-190. Peter Gray and Dorothy Slow, Egyptian Mummies in the City of Liverpool Museums (1968) p. 56, pls. 80-6. Roger Luckhurst, The Mummy's Curse: the true story of a dark fantasy (2012) p. 186, fig. 7.1.
  • Related people
    Andrew C P Haggard ( Collector, previous owner); Henry Rider Haggard ( Collector); Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery ( Previous owner)
  • Related documents/media

Explore related


  • A Note on the Egyptian Mummies in the Castle Museum, Norwich in the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology vol. 15


  • Egyptian Mummies in the City of Liverpool Museums

    Gray, Peter; Slow, Dorothy

    Author: Gray, Peter; Slow, Dorothy
    Publisher: Liverpool Corporation
    Date: 1968
    Description: Results of 1967 X Rays of the mummies in Liverpool Museum (now World Museum).

  • Egyptian Treasures in Europe volume 4: National Museums & Galleries on Merseyside, Liverpool

    Andrea Davies; Dirk van der Plas (ed)

    Author: Andrea Davies; Dirk van der Plas (ed)
    Publisher: Utrecht University
    Date: 2001
    Description: CD ROM with 1500 objects from World Museum's Egyptian collection, including some destroyed in World War Two. This is now available online: http://www.globalegyptianmuseum.org/default.aspx

  • The Mummy's Curse: the true story of a dark fantasy

    Luckhurst, Roger

    Author: Luckhurst, Roger
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
    Date: 2012-10-25


Previous owners

Object view = Humanities
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