About this object

Mummified body of a young adult woman, very similar in appearance to M13997a. The external bandages are considerably damaged from when the Museum was destroyed by a fire-bomb in May 1941. The limbs have been wrapped separately, and the features of the head and body were modelled with resin before the final bandages were applied. The facial features were painted on the surface of the other covering, and traces of the colour survive, e.g., the eyes. The forehead is bound with a linen fillet which leaves the crown of the head exposed. There is some short, curling reddish hair at the nape of the neck. Each finger was wrapped separately, and the bandages at the feet were arranged to imitate sandals. There is now no trace of the bands of painted linen at the waist and around the limbs which were probably originally placed there as on M13997a. One amulet is still in place; a figure of Hapi, made of gilded wood 35 mm in length, it is stuck on the linen above the right breast.The mummy lies with its head turned to the right. The bandages on the left side have been considerably compressed, and the nose has been damaged, while the head and other parts have at some time been attacked by boring insects. The mummy was CT scanned is 2012 - see Robert Loynes, ‘Prepared for eternity : a study of human embalming techniques in ancient Egypt using computerised tomography scans of mummies’ (Oxford, 2015).

The mummy was X-rayed by PHK Gray in November 1966 and the interpretation of the radiograph images below are taken from the 1968 publication of the study (please note that the wrong accession M14047 was used in the publication):

SKULL - This is rotated slightly to the right, and there are no obvious fractures. The cranial cavity appears empty. The mouth is closed, and all teeth appear to be present. However, a lower left premolar is lying loose and the caps of the teeth show evidence of dental attrition. The cervical spine appears intact;

THORAX, ABDOMEN AND PELVIS -The majority of the left and lower right ribs have been detached from their costo-vertebral articulations. They lie loose, but are not fractured. There is some sclerosis of the vertebral end-plates giving, at first sight, an impression of opacification of the disc spaces. The lower end-plate of the tenth dorsal vertebra has become detached, and there is some subluxation of the spinal column at this site. Irregular masses of packing material lie within the thorax. These probably represent resin impregnated linen. Apart from some subluxation of the pubic symphysis and both sacro-iliac joints no abnormality is noted. The treatment of the body cavity indicates that evisceration has been performed, and is very similar in manner to that of B.M. 6704 (Dawson and Gray, 1968). In the case of B.M. 6704 both thoracic apices and the pelvic cavity have been tightly packed with a mixture of what is probably mud, sand and resin, and lying between, within the body cavity, are four dense, homogeneous, cylindrical opacities. The pelvis of Liverpool 1 shows evidence of similar packing, but a cylindrical mass lies in the region of either iliac bone. Two other cylindrical masses may lie centrally, but are obscured by the main packing;

ARMS - Extended. The palms of the hands, fingers extended, rest upon the outer aspect of the thighs. Comminuted fractures are present in the lower end of both radii and ulnae. These are most likely post-mortem;

LEGS - The bones and joints appear within normal limits. Owing to technical difficulties, the ankles and feet were not X-rayed.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Animal Remains
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Thebes
  • Date made
    200 AD - 300 AD about
  • Materials
    Body-Part Human; Resin; Textile
  • 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
    1850 before
  • Measurements
    212 mm x 405 mm x 1580 mm x 17 kg
  • Note
    The mummy was deposited in coffin M14047 which it does not properly belong, though may be an example of a burial in a reused coffin made about 800 years earlier. The mummy belongs to a well-known type datable to the Roman Period, of which there are 8: 2 in Liverpool, 3 in Leiden, 1 in London, 1 in Rio de Janeiro & 1 in Avignon. These mummies were all obtained at about the same time, about 1840, and it is tempting to think that they may all belong to the family of an important Roman official, such as the group of mummies of the family of Cornelius Pollius which was shared between various purchasers and are now in the British Museum, Leiden, Paris, Turin and Berlin. The discover of this tomb was described by Sir Frederick Henniker (1824).Compare with Raven and Taconis, 'Egyptian Mummies' (Turnhout, 2005), nos. 29 - 31, pp. 191-203. In Joseph Mayer's 1852 catalogue he describes the mummy as being "Egypto-Greek mummy of a female, with its case and lid - the face of the mummy is extremely beautiful".
  • Related people
    Joseph Mayer ( Previous owner); Joseph Sams ( Collector, previous owner)
  • Related documents/media

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: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: 1850
    Disposal method: Sold
Object view = Humanities
Found media!
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