About this object

Ankh-es-en-aset’s parents chose a name for her that means ‘she lives for Isis’ in the hope the goddess would protect her. Ankh-es-en-aset’s father was a priest called Djed-khonsu-ef-ankh and his mummy and coffins are today in the British Museum. Like other women from high status families Ankh-es-en-aset became a Chantress of Amun who provided musical accompaniment for the daily rituals in the great temple of Karnak. Her mummy is encased within a cartonnage mummy case of glued linen and plaster, laced shut at the back. Hot scented oil was poured over the coffin, perhaps as part of the funeral rituals. It has now darkened and hides much of the brightly painted decoration. X-rays and CT scans revealed that Ankh-es-en-aset’s internal organs were removed then wrapped in linen and returned to the body. Her brain has been removed and the skull was packed loosely with linen. Artificial eyes of stone or ceramic have been placed over her eye sockets which had been stuffed with linen. The gilded face of her cartonnage coffin was damaged in 1941 during the wartime bombing of Liverpool. A cover placed at the foot end of the coffin is now missing.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Animal Remains
  • Culture
    Third Intermediate Period
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Thebes
  • Date made
    945 BC - 715 BC (Dynasty 22) about
  • Materials
    Body-Part Human; Resin; Cotton; Plaster; Cartonnage; Linen
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, Ancient Egypt Gallery
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Joseph Mayer
  • Collector
    Joseph Sams
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Thebes
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    320 mm x 440 mm x 1700 mm x 45 kg
  • Note
    The 1852 catalogue of Mayer's collection describes the mummy as being of a "frequent way of embalming, first enwrapping the body with bandages, and afterwards covering the whole with bitumen". In 1877 the British Museum's first Egyptologist, Dr Samuel Birch, visited the collection to provide advice for the curator, Charles Gatty. Dr Birch said the coffin (M13999) and cartonnage case (M14000) did not belong together. Mr Gatty also noted that Dr Birch “thought very highly of this coffin”. From then until 2008 the mummy of Padiamunnebnesuttauwy (M14050) was, by error, kept inside coffin M13999. In the British Museum's collection there is a similar cartonnage encased mummy of a priest called Djedkhonsiufankh who in all probability is the father of Ankhesenaset (British Museum number EA 6662, which is also from the Joseph Sams collection). a sample of gesso and the black resin was taken by Margot Wright for analysis in June 1980 (results are unknown).
  • Related people
    Joseph Mayer ( Previous owner); Joseph Sams ( Collector, previous owner)

Explore related


  • Catalogue of the Egyptian Museum, No. VII, Colquitt Street, Liverpool

    Mayer, Joseph

    Author: Mayer, Joseph
    Publisher: Joseph Mayer
    Date: 1852
    Description: Joseph Mayer published a catalogue of his collection in 1852, whilst it was at his Egyptian Museum in Colquitt Street. This is before he donated his collection to the Liverpool Free Public Museums in 1867 so his entries do not include the accession numbers that the objects now bear.

  • Catalogue of the Mayer Collection Part 1. The Egyptian, Babylonian and Assyrian Antiquities. Second and Revised Edition

    Gatty, Charles

    Author: Gatty, Charles
    Publisher: The Committee of the Liverpool Free Public Library, Museum and Gallery of Art
    Date: 1879
    Description: 83 page illustrated catalogue of Joseph Mayer's Egyptian and Near Eastern collection that was on display. It also includes a small number of other collections, such as those given by Mr William Crosfield in 1861, some by Mr Charles Stoess in 1869, and others by Mr J. A. Tinne in 1870. Occasionally reference will be made to the provenance of objects, in particular if they are from the Joseph Sams or Lord Valentia collections. The woodcut illustrations were produced by the noted Victorian illustrator and engraver, Llewellynn Frederick William Jewitt FSA. Compared to Mayer's 1852 catalogue there are more detailed descriptions for inscribed objects such as stelae, giving names and titles and the character of the text. Much of this information was provided by Samuel Birch of the British Museum who visited the collections in March 1877.

  • 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).

  • Prepared for Eternity: A study of human embalming techniques in ancient Egypt using computerised tomography scans of mummies

    Loynes, Robert

    Author: Loynes, Robert
    Publisher: Archaeopress
    Date: 2015
    Description: This publication brings together personal analyses of sixty CT scans of ancient Egyptian human mummies collected from many museums throughout the UK and continental Europe, including eight from World Museum, Liverpool. The effect is that of performing ‘virtual autopsies’ (‘virtopsies’) allowing techniques of mummification to be examined. The historical age of the mummies ranges from the Middle Kingdom to the Roman Period. Several new observations are made regarding the preparation of mummies and confirmation of previously described themes is tempered by the observation of variations probably indicating individual workshop practices. The work presents a springboard for further detailed research on the subject.


Previous owners

  • Joseph Mayer

    Owned from: 1850
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: 1867
    Disposal method: Donation
  • Joseph Sams

    Owned from: 1833
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: 1850
    Disposal method: Sold
Object view = Humanities
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