Kitten Mummy


About this object

Mummified kitten wrapped in bandages, with a cylindrical shaped body and naturalistic head. At only 16 cm tall this is very small for a cat mummy and until we could X-ray the mummy we were uncertain if it contained a complete animal or was empty. Radiographs taken in April 2015 revealed that there is a skeleton inside, likely to belong to a foetal or neo-natal cat, based upon size and the low density of the bones

The collector, Henrietta Gurney, donated the mummy to Norwich Castle Museum in 1828 with information suggesting it had been discovered by the famous explorer Giovani Belzoni in KV 17, the tomb of Seti I in the Valley of the Kings in 1817. For the first time the mummy was X-rayed and CT imaged at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital on 9th April 2015 as part of the University of Manchester’s Animal Bio Bank Project (object ref. no. AEABB741).

Object specifics

  • Type
    Animal Remains
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Thebes: Valley of the Kings
  • Date made
    30 BC - 395 AD (Roman Period)
  • Materials
    Animal; Textile
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, Ancient Egypt Gallery
  • Acquisition
    Purchased from the collections of Norwich Castle Museum
  • Collector
    Giovanni Battista Belzoni
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Thebes: Valley of the Kings
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    50 mm x 45 mm x 160 mm
  • Related people
    Giovanni Battista Belzoni ( Collector, previous owner); Henrietta Gurney ( Collector, previous owner); Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery ( Previous owner)


Previous owners

Object view = Humanities
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