Mummy of a child


British Museum

British Museum

This is one of the mummies discovered by Flinders Petrie in his excavations in the Roman cemeteries near the pyramid at Hawara in 1887/8. From Petrie's excavation notebooks it appears that this child was the offspring of a woman whose mummy is now in the Cairo Museum.The child's mummy has been elaborately wrapped, and a well-executed panel portrait of the dead child inserted into the outer layers of the wrappings. Over the torso of the mummy is a shroud painted with various scenes of the Egyptian religious tradition, with the sky goddess Nut at the top. In the centre of the scenes is a band that would have been filled with a text, which was never added.CT scans of the mummy show that it was indeed that of a young person; the bones have been displaced, perhaps by the tightness of the wrappings. A possible tumour has been identified on the leg bones, unless this is simply resin which seeped in during the mummification process.

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  • Title: Mummy of a child
  • Date Created: 40/55
  • Physical Dimensions: Length: 92.00cm; Width: 31.00cm; Height: 31.00mm
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: gilded; painted
  • Subject: ancient egyptian deity
  • Registration number: 1888,0806.7
  • Place: Excavated/Findspot Hawara
  • Period/culture: Roman Period
  • Material: human tissue; resin; plaster; linen; gold
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Donated by Kennard, Henry Martyn. Excavated by Petrie, William Matthew Flinders