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Ancient Egyptian Culture, Mummies, Statues, Burial Practices and Artefacts

Ancient Egypt from the conquest of Egypt by Alexander in 332 BC, through the Ptolemaic period, starting in 305 BC, to its decline as a Roman Province



Alexander's Conquest, and the aftermath

In 332 BC, Alexander the Great, King of Macedon invaded the Achaemenid satrapy of Egypt. He visited Memphis, and traveled to the oracle of Amun at the Oasis of Siwa. The oracle declared him to be the son of Amun. He conciliated the Egyptians by the respect he showed for their religion, but he appointed Macedonians to virtually all the senior posts in the country, and founded a new Greek city, Alexandria, to be the new capital. The wealth of Egypt could now be harnessed for Alexander's conquest of the rest of the Persian Empire. Early in 331 BC he was ready to depart, and led his forces away to Phoenicia. He left Cleomenes as the ruling nomarch to control Egypt in his absence. Alexander never returned to Egypt.

Following Alexander's death in Babylon in 323 BC, a succession crisis erupted among his generals. Initially, Perdiccas ruled the empire as regent for Alexander's half-brother Arrhidaeus, who became Philip III of Macedon, and then as regent for both Philip III and Alexander's infant son Alexander IV of Macedon, who had not been born at the time of his father's death. Perdiccas appointed Ptolemy, one of Alexander's closest companions, to be satrap of Egypt. Ptolemy ruled Egypt from 323 BC, nominally in the name of the joint kings Philip III and Alexander IV. However, as Alexander the Great's empire disintegrated, Ptolemy soon established himself as ruler in his own right. Ptolemy successfully defended Egypt against an invasion by Perdiccas in 321 BC, and consolidated his position in Egypt and the surrounding areas during the Wars of the Diadochi (322–301 BC). In 305 BC, Ptolemy took the title of King. As Ptolemy I Soter ('Saviour'), he founded the Ptolemaic dynasty that was to rule Egypt for nearly 300 years.



Macedonian Period: 332 BC - 305 BC

In 332 BC, Alexander the Great, King of Macedon invaded the Achaemenid satrapy of Egypt. He visited Memphis, and traveled to the oracle of Amun at the Oasis of Siwa. The oracle declared him to be the son of Amun. He conciliated the Egyptians by the respect he showed for their religion, but he appointed Macedonians to virtually all the senior posts in the country, and founded a new Greek city, Alexandria, to be the new capital.

The wealth of Egypt could now be harnessed for Alexander's conquest of the rest of the Persian Empire. Early in 331 BC he was ready to depart, and led his forces away to Phoenicia. He left Cleomenes as the ruling nomarch to control Egypt in his absence. Alexander never returned to Egypt.

Following Alexander's death in Babylon in 323 BC, a succession crisis erupted among his generals. Initially, Perdiccas ruled the empire as regent for Alexander's half-brother Arrhidaeus, who became Philip III of Macedon, and then as regent for both Philip III and Alexander's infant son Alexander IV of Macedon, who had not been born at the time of his father's death. Perdiccas appointed Ptolemy, one of Alexander's closest companions, to be satrap of Egypt. Ptolemy ruled Egypt from 323 BC, nominally in the name of the joint kings Philip III and Alexander IV. However, as Alexander the Great's empire disintegrated, Ptolemy soon established himself as ruler in his own right. Ptolemy successfully defended Egypt against an invasion by Perdiccas in 321 BC, and consolidated his position in Egypt and the surrounding areas during the Wars of the Diadochi (322–301 BC). In 305 BC, Ptolemy took the title of King. As Ptolemy I Soter ("Saviour"), he founded the Ptolemaic dynasty that was to rule Egypt for nearly 300 years.


Macedonian Period
Name Years Dates Comments
Alexander the Great 1 332 BC - 331 BC Left newly founded Alexandria for Phoenicia, and left Cleomenes
as the ruling Monarch. Alexander never returned to Egypt.
Cleomenes 9 331 BC - 322 BC It is told that his rapacity knew no bounds, that he
exercised his office solely for his own advantage.

He was executed by Ptolemy, who pocketed Cleomenes'
accumulated wealth of 8 000 talents.
Ptolemy 18 323 BC - 305 BC Ptolemy ruled Egypt from 323 BC, nominally in the name of the joint
kings Philip III and Alexander IV. However, as Alexander the Great's
empire disintegrated, Ptolemy soon established himself as ruler in his own right.

Ptolemy successfully defended Egypt against an invasion by
Perdiccas in 321 BC, and consolidated his position in Egypt and the
surrounding areas during the Wars of the Diadochi (322–301 BC).
In 305 BC, Ptolemy took the title of King. As Ptolemy I Soter ('Saviour'),
he founded the Ptolemaic dynasty that was to rule Egypt for nearly 300 years.


Table of the Macedonian Period Rulers, adapted from various sources, including Wikipedia.






Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

The Ptolemaic dynasty was a Greek royal family, originating from Macedon, which ruled the Ptolemaic Kingdom in Egypt during the Hellenistic period. Their rule lasted for 275 years, from 305 to 30 BC. They were the last dynasty of ancient Egypt.

Ptolemy, one of the seven somatophylakes (bodyguards) who served as Alexander the Great's generals and deputies, was appointed satrap of Egypt after Alexander's death in 323 BC. In 305 BC, he declared himself Ptolemy I, later known as Sōter 'Saviour'.

The Egyptians soon accepted the Ptolemies as the successors to the pharaohs of independent Egypt. Ptolemy's family ruled Egypt until the Roman conquest of 30 BC. All the male rulers of the dynasty took the name Ptolemy. Ptolemaic queens regnant, some of whom were the sisters of their husbands, were usually called Cleopatra, Arsinoe or Berenice. The most famous member of the line was the last queen, Cleopatra VII, known for her role in the Roman political battles between Julius Caesar and Pompey, and later between Octavian and Mark Antony. Her apparent suicide at the conquest by Rome marked the end of Ptolemaic rule in Egypt.


Ptolemaic Dynasty
Name Consort Years Dates Comments
Ptolemy I Soter I Thaïs
Artakama
Eurydice
Berenice I
23 305 BC - 282 BC Ptolemy founded a dynasty which ruled Egypt for the next three centuries, turning Egypt into a Hellenistic kingdom and Alexandria into a centre of Greek culture. He assimilated some aspects of Egyptian culture, however, assuming the traditional title pharaoh in 305/4 BC.
Ptolemy II Arsinoe I
Arsinoe II (sister)
37 283 BC - 246 BC A peaceful and cultured king, and no great warrior. However, three years of campaigning at the start of his reign left Ptolemy the master of the eastern Mediterranean, controlling the Aegean islands and the coastal districts of Cilicia, Pamphylia, Lycia and Caria. In the 270s BC, Ptolemy II defeated the Kingdom of Kush in war, gaining control of important gold-mining areas south of Egypt. As a result, the Ptolemies established hunting stations and ports as far south as Port Sudan, from which raiding parties containing hundreds of men searched for war elephants. Hellenistic culture would acquire an important influence on Kush at this time.

Ptolemy was eager to increase the Library of Alexandria and to patronise scientific research. He spent lavishly on making Alexandria the economic, artistic and intellectual capital of the Hellenistic world. It is to the academies and libraries of Alexandria that we owe the preservation of so much Greek literary heritage.
Ptolemy III Berenice of Cyrene 25 246 BC - 221 BC Ptolemy III Euergetes ('the benefactor') abandoned his predecessors' policy of keeping out of the wars of the other Macedonian successor kingdoms, and plunged into the Third Syrian War. Ptolemy marched triumphantly into the heart of the Seleucid realm, as far as Babylonia, while his fleets in the Aegean made fresh conquests as far north as Thrace.

This victory marked the zenith of the Ptolemaic power. Egyptian fleets controlled most of the coasts of Asia Minor and Greece. After this triumph Ptolemy no longer engaged actively in war.

He patronised the native Egyptian religion more liberally, and he left larger traces among the Egyptian monuments. His reign marks the gradual 'Egyptianisation' of the Ptolemies.
Ptolemy IV Philopator Arsinoë IV (sister) 17 221 BC - 204 BC Ptolemy IV was a weak and corrupt king under whom the decline of the Ptolemaic kingdom began. His reign was inaugurated by the murder of his mother, and he was always under the influence of royal favourites, male and female, who controlled the government. Nevertheless, his ministers were able to make serious preparations to meet the attacks of Antiochus III the Great on Coele-Syria, and the great Egyptian victory of Raphia in 217 BC secured the kingdom for the remainder of his reign. The arming of Egyptians in this campaign had a disturbing effect upon the native population of Egypt leading to the secession of Upper Egypt under pharaohs Harmachis and Ankmachis. Philopator was devoted to orgiastic religions and to literature. He married his sister Arsinoë, but was ruled by his mistress Agathoclea.

Ptolemy is said to have built a giant ship known as the tessarakonteres ('forty'), a huge galley and possibly the largest human-powered vessel ever built. The current theory is that Ptolemy's ship was an oversized catamaran galley, measuring 128 m.
Ptolemy V Epiphanes Arsinoë IV (sister) 23 204 BC - 181 BC Ptolemy V inherited the throne at the age of five when his father, Ptolemy IV died, and under a series of regents, the kingdom was paralysed.

The Rosetta Stone was produced during his reign as an adult.

The war between Upper and Lower Egypt continued until 185 BC with the arrest of Ankhmachis by Ptolemaic general Conanus. This victory re-established Ptolemaic rule in Upper Egypt, as well as the region between the first and second cataracts. In 183 BC / 184 BC, the rebels in Lower Egypt surrendered on the basis of terms that Epiphanes had personally promised to honour. However, showing himself treacherous and vindictive, he had them put to death in a cruel manner.

The Memphis Decree, published in three languages on the Rosetta Stone and other stelae, announced the rule and ascension to godhood of Ptolemy V, and contained concessions to the priesthood, and has been termed a reward for the priests' support. The elder of Ptolemy V's two sons, Ptolemy VI Philometor (181 – 145 BC), succeeded as an infant under the regency of his mother Cleopatra the Syrian.
Ptolemy VI Philometor Cleopatra II (sister) 23 180 BC - 145 BC Ptolemy VI succeeded at the age of 6 and ruled jointly with his mother, Cleopatra I, until her death in 176 BC. In 173 BC he married his sister, Cleopatra II. In 164 Ptolemy VI was driven out of Egypt by his brother Ptolemy VIII and went to Rome to seek support. The Romans partitioned the Ptolemaic land, granting Ptolemy VI Cyprus and Egypt, and Ptolemy VIII Cyrenaica. Ptolemy VI died in battle when he fell from his horse and fractured his skull, dying a few days later.
Ptolemy VIII Physcon Cleopatra II (sister) 23 145 BC - 116 BC During the last century of Ptolemaic rule, Egypt's independence was exercised under Rome's protection and at Rome's discretion. The reign of Ptolemy VIII Physcon (a nickname, potbelly) was marked by generous benefactions to the Egyptian temples, but he was detested as a tyrant by the Greeks, and the historical accounts of the reign emphasise his stormy relations with the Alexandrian populace.

Physcon seduced and married Cleopatra III (his wife's daughter) without divorcing Cleopatra II, who became infuriated. Many speculate that Physcon only married Cleopatra II because he was plotting to marry Cleopatra III when she became of marrying age. By 132 or 131 BC, the people of Alexandria had rioted and set fire to the royal palace. Physcon, Cleopatra III, and their children escaped to Cyprus; while Cleopatra II had their twelve-year-old son, Ptolemy Memphitis, acclaimed as king. Physcon was able to get hold of the boy, killed him, and sent the dismembered pieces back to Cleopatra. On his death in 116 BC Physcon left the kingdom to his wife Cleopatra III and her son Ptolemy IX Philometor Soter II.
Ptolemy IX / Ptolemy X   35 116 BC - 81 BC Ptolemy IX Soter II or Lathyros ('grass pea') was king of Egypt three times, from 116 BC to 110 BC, 109 BC to 107 BC and 88 BC to 81 BC, with intervening periods ruled by his brother, Ptolemy X Alexander. Ptolemy IX gained sole control of the country in 88 BC when Ptolemy X was forced by his unpopularity to leave Egypt, and subsequently died at sea. Ptolemy IX then sought to keep Egypt from excessive Roman influence while trying to develop trade with the East. He died in 81 BC, leaving his daughter and widow as his successors.
Ptolemy XII Auletes Cleopatra Tryphaena 22, 4 80 BC - 58 BC
55 BC - 51 BC
Ptolemy Auletes (pipe player) - his reign as king was interrupted by a general rebellion that resulted in his exile from 58 BC to 55 BC. Ptolemy XII was often described as a weak, self-indulgent man, a drunkard, and a music lover. During his reign, Ptolemy XII attempted to secure his own fate and the fate of his dynasty by means of a pro-Roman policy, including bribes to Roman leaders. In 58 BC, Ptolemy XII failed to comment on the Roman conquest of Cyprus, a territory ruled by his brother, thereby inciting the Egyptian population to start a rebellion. Egyptians were already aggravated by heavy taxes (to pay for the Roman tribute) and a substantial increase in the cost of living. Ptolemy XII fled to Rome, possibly with his daughter Cleopatra VII, in search of safety.

His daughter Berenice IV became his successor. She ruled as coregent with her sister (or possibly mother) Cleopatra VI Tryphaena. A year after Ptolemy XII's exile, Cleopatra VI Tryphaena died and Berenice ruled alone over Alexandria from 57 BC to 56 BC. Ptolemy XII finally recovered his throne by paying Aulus Gabinius 10 000 talents to invade Egypt in 55 BC.

Upon entering the palace, Ptolemy had Berenice and her supporters executed. From then on, he reigned until he fell ill in 51 BC. Around two thousand Roman soldiers and mercenaries, the so-called Gabiniani, were stationed in Alexandria to ensure Ptolemy XII's authority on the throne. In exchange, Rome was able to exert its power over the restored king. His daughter Cleopatra VII became his coregent. Before his death, Ptolemy XII chose his daughter Cleopatra VII as his coregent and that she and her brother Ptolemy XIII should rule the kingdom together.
Cleopatra VII Philopator   22, 4 51 BC - 30 BC Cleopatra ruled jointly with Ptolemy XIII Theos Philopator (51 BC - 47 BC), Ptolemy XIV (47 BC - 44 BC) and Ptolemy XV Caesarion (44 BC - 30 BC).

Born around 69 BC Cleopatra VII was the last active ruler of Ptolemaic Egypt, briefly survived as pharaoh by her son Caesarion. The Ptolemies spoke Greek throughout their dynasty, and refused to speak Egyptian, which is the reason that Greek as well as Egyptian languages were used on official court documents such as the Rosetta Stone. By contrast, Cleopatra did learn to speak Egyptian and represented herself as the reincarnation of the Egyptian goddess Isis.

Cleopatra originally ruled jointly with her father Ptolemy XII Auletes, and later with her brothers Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy XIV, whom she married as per Egyptian custom, but eventually she became sole ruler. As queen, she consummated a liaison with Julius Caesar that solidified her grip on the throne. She later elevated Caesarion, her son with Caesar, to co-ruler in name.

After Caesar's assassination in 44 BC, she aligned with Mark Antony in opposition to Caesar's legal heir Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (later known as Augustus). With Antony, she bore the twins Cleopatra Selene II and Alexander Helios, and son Ptolemy Philadelphus (her unions with her brothers had produced no children).

In the year 31 B.C., Cleopatra and Antony combined armies to try to defeat Octavian in a raging sea battle at Actium, on Greece’s west coast. The clash, however, proved to be a costly defeat for the Egyptians, forcing Antony and Cleopatra to flee back to Egypt. Antony soon returned to the battlefield, where he was falsely informed that Cleopatra had died. Upon hearing the news, the despondent Roman leader committed suicide by stabbing himself. Cleopatra followed her lover’s demise by ending her life as well by being bitten by an Egyptian cobra. She died on 12th August, 30 BC. The two were buried together, as they had wished, and Egypt became a province of the Roman Empire. Cleopatra was outlived by Caesarion, who was declared pharaoh by his supporters, but he was soon killed on Octavian's orders. Egypt then became the Roman province of Aegyptus.

Her legacy survives in numerous works of art and many dramatizations of incidents from her life in literature and other media, such as William Shakespeare's tragedy Antony and Cleopatra, George Bernard Shaw's play Caesar and Cleopatra, Jules Massenet's opera Cléopâtre, and the films Cleopatra (1934) and Cleopatra (1963).


Table of the Ptolemaic Period Rulers, adapted from various sources, including Wikipedia, https://www.britannica.com/, and http://www.biography.com/






cleopatra family tree


Cleopatra VII's family tree, which shows graphically the marriage of brother and sister, or very close relatives, within the Ptolemaic Dynasty.

Photo: unknown
Source: Wikipedia


Ptolomy Ptolomy
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Ptolemy I


Fragment of a basalt statue of Ptolemy I (305 BC - 283 BC), general of Alexander the Great, who founded the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt, wearing a royal headdress with a protecting serpent.

Said to have been found in the lining of a well in the Nile Delta.

Fragment of a black basalt Egyptian-style statue of Ptolemy I. The statue is preserved to below the chest. The left shoulder and the head of the uraeus are missing. The 'nemes' headdress and back pillar are damaged and there are further superficial marks on the surface. Only the top of the back pillar, which ends at the middle of the shoulder, survives and is uninscribed.

The 'nemes' headdress, plain at the top but ribbed on the lappets, and the uraeus identify the subject as a ruler. The mouth has drill holes in the corners, forcing the lips into a wide smile. The wide, fleshy nose, cheeks and chin are representative of portraits of the Thirtieth Dynasty and Ptolemaic periods, but the slightly raised eyebrows are carved in a more naturalistic manner than those on Late Period sculpture. The large, fleshy ears are also characteristic of Ptolemaic portraiture.


Height 640 mm, width 660 mm, depth 340 mm.

Because this particular piece does not bear a strong resemblance to the inscribed statues of Ptolemy II, it is, therefore, likely to represent the ruler's father, Ptolemy I. Although the exact provenance of the statue is unknown, it is said to have been found in the lining of a well in the Delta. It was acquired with a number of other objects, but, unfortunately, the site was not named and it has been suggested that the story of its discovery was fabricated to increase interest in the piece.

Catalog: Ptolemaic Period, EA1641
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card at the British Museum, http://www.britishmuseum.org/, © Trustees of the British Museum, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0




 hor coffin
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Coffin of Hor


Wood, site Achim.

(Note that apart from the painted face, the rest of the coffin lid has been carved and engraved rather than painted - Don )

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2014
Source and text: Original, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden.




 hor coffin  hor coffin
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Coffin of Hor


Wood, site Achim.

Photo: http://www.rmo.nl/collectie/zoeken?object=AdS+2
Source and text: Original, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden.




Mummy  of Hor Mummy  of Hor
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Mummy of Hor


Mummies from the Greek era often have loose masks and panels of cartonnage (layers of linen or papyrus covered with plaster)

Wood, Mummy, linen; site Achim; 305 BC - 030 BC Ptolemaic Dynasty, the last Dynasty of Ancient Egypt.

Mummy of an adult, very heavy and hard and displaying well-defined anatomical details (e.g. the calves). The bandages are applied in close concentric windings with a considerable overlap and an exposed part of no more than 2-4 cm wide. On the front part of the mummy, the wrappings are stained black due to the application of resin.

The linen is a medium-fine warp-faced tabby weave (about 24 x 12 threads/cm2). Several elements made of cartonnage (stucco and linen), much damaged and badly restored, lie on top of the wrappings. These comprise the following items, painted in red, blue, green, yellow, and black on white:

- mask: face and ears gilt, lips red, eyes and brows black and white, row of black dots along the forehead. Blue semicircle surrounded by border with radial lines under the chin, presumably depicting a beard. Tripartite wig blue with a red and white border. There are nine horizontal ranges of a necklace between the front lappets: a succession of tabs, roundels, and petals, with drops below. The crown of the head has been decorated with a winged scarab (black with yellow lines, wings with three zones: red hatching, white, and black feathers) surmounted by a sun disk (red).


- torso cover of tapering shape: Six sections from top to bottom, separated by block friezes: ba, facing right with wings spread out and claws holding disks, flanked by the two falcon-headed clasps of the collar and two kneeling goddesses with one hand raised; collar with eleven semicircular ranges of roundels, petals, and tabs with drops below; kneeling goddess, facing right, with hands holding feathers and extended wings, a disk on the head, and flanked by uraeus serpents and wedjat eyes; mummy on bier, flanked by two kneeling goddesses, with six vases below; five squatting demons with knives, all human-headed; serekh pattern. The last three sections are flanked by side-strips showing the four Sons of Horus, all human-headed.

- leg cover: slightly tapering panel with rounded end and four successive sections, separated by block friezes. From top to bottom: mummy on bier, wings above, flanked by two mummiform figures (jackal-headed left, falcon-headed right) and two kneeling goddesses, eight vases below; seven squatting demons holding knives (various heads); five bulls recumbent on shrines; twenty ranges of roundels, petals, and tabs, surrounded by a border of triangular petals and with a central column for inscriptions (blank).

- foot cover: top with eight squatting gods; two red feet, outlines and sandal straps white, nails gilt; block frieze around the sides, soles showing sandals with mosaic pattern in red, blue, and white.

Photo (left): Don Hitchcock 2014
Photo (right): http://www.rmo.nl/collectie/zoeken?object=AdS+1
Source and text: Original, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden.




img_2475sarcophagussm img_2476sarcophagussm
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Wennefer


Sarcophagus of Wennefer, figure of the goddess of the necropolis.

Catalog: Limestone, ÄM 46
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Neues Museum, Germany
Text: © Card at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 DE)




17895 Thebes, TT D.1

long coffin
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Ankh-hap


Painted wooden coffin of Ankh-hap, also known as Hapiankh.

Ptolemaic Period, 305 BC - 030 BC, probably from Thebes / Luxor.

The coffin was made for the temple singer Ankh-hap, son of Djehuty-maa and Tadineferhotep. Ankh-hap's mummy is that of a young man. A pair of bronze cymbals lay on it when it was discovered.


It consists of a painted wooden baseboard and vaulted cover of the wooden coffin of Hapiankh, Doorkeeper of Amun. The rectangular baseboard is painted white on the interior and decorated with a full-length representation of Nut in red outline; the cover is rectangular with a vaulted top and four corner posts, covered with stucco and brightly decorated.

One gable end is decorated with a winged solar disc and wedjat-eyes, the sides are decorated with three horizontal registers of hieroglyphs, the top is decorated with, on one side, a funerary boat, towed by jackals, which conveys the mummified body of the deceased through the underworld, with canopic jars beneath the bier, and the four Sons of Horus behind.

Baboons greet the cortege and, on the other side, a boat transports the standard of Abydos with Horus and Thoth, Maat looks out from the prow, Amentet is represented, standing with the deceased, on both sides.

These scenes are surrounded by registers of text, with a central register along the top; this coffin contained the mummy 6711 when it entered the collection.

Catalog: EA6710
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: http://www.britishmuseum.org, card with the display at the British Museum, © Trustees of the British Museum




long coffinlong coffin
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Horsanakht


Painted wooden coffin of Horsanakht.

Ptolemaic Period, 305 - 030 BC, from Kharga Oasis.

The proportions of this coffin, with large wig, high shoulders, and broad pedestal, are characteristic of the Ptolemeaic Period.

The breast is decorated with a very large collar with falcon-head terminals. Below this is the winged goddess Nut, the mummy on a bier tended by Anubis, and a series of protective deities. The hieratic text has been crudely inserted into a space left blank for this purpose by the painter.

Catalog: EA52949
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card with the display at the British Museum, © Trustees of the British Museum




Horsanakht
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Horsanakht


Painted wooden coffin of Horsanakht, close up.

Catalog: EA52949
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum




Egypt
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Diptah


Coffin of Diptah

The carving of the dead man has a golden face, a sign of divinity.

Wood; site Achim; 300-250 BC, Ptolemaic Dynasty.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2014
Source: Original, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden.




Egypt
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Diptah


Coffin of Diptah, close up.

Photo: © Michiel 2005, http://www.ipernity.com/doc/288839/18779683




img_2532coffinsm img_2531womanhatsm img_2530coffinsm
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Woman called Hat


Lid and case of the anthropomorphic coffin of the woman called Hat.

Dimensions: 1770 x 550 x 450 mm.

As early as the beginning of the 18th century travellers described the Achmimer necropolitan area. From the extensive necropolis in Achmim there were many valuable finds. This includes this anthropomorphic coffin of Hat from the Ptolemaic Period, which is in a very good state of preservation.

The Berlin Museum took delivery in 1884 of the coffin of Hat, daughter of Pa-di-Chonsu-ii and his wife Udja-nabes, together with the mummy. Whether other coffins belonged to this funeral remains unclear.

Both the bulbous shape of the coffin and the voluminous neck collar, which covers almost half the lid, are typical design features of the coffins for the place of manufacture. Below the flower-neck collar with the falcon heads as endings, the winged goddess Nut kneels on a facade-like structure, followed by a broad inscription volume with genealogical indications and sacrificial formulas.


Catalog: Achmim, primed and painted wood, painted stucco, ÄM 8501
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Neues Museum, Germany
Text: © Card at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, http://www.smb-digital.de/ (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 DE)
Additional text: I. Liao for: Helmbold-Doyé, J. / Jancziak, J. (Eds.), 'Alternating Identities' An exhibition with works by Gelbbas, special editions of the Egyptian Collection 4, Berlin 2015, The results of a multidisciplinary research project, Regensburg 2009, p. 135.




img_2514pediesism
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Woman called Hat


Lid and case of the anthropomorphic coffin of the woman called Hat.

Following Ptolemaic theology, deceased women have two forms of existence on the other side of death. Therefore Hat is referred to in the inscriptions as both 'Osiris Hat' and 'Hathor Hat'. At the side, two Horus dynasties in the shrines, as well as the mourning goddesses Isis and Nephthys, decorate the coffin lid. The Anubis jackals lying on the closed shrines form the end of the decorations.

On the underside of the box-shaped pedestal decorated with protection symbols for life and well-being on the sides, the running Apis bull is shown in a 'ring' symbol for eternity. On the back of Apis the mummy of the deceased is placed; the Ba-bird flies over it and holds a ring between its claws. Since the Saitian period, the bull running to the grave, often carrying the mummy of the dead on its back, was called 'Osiris, the living Apis' and also a symbol of protection. Frequently, he was painted on the base of coffins or cartonnage. In addition, the heavenly goddess groove is shown again in the coffin case. She stands on a stand and holds Maat feathers in her hands.


Catalog: Achmim, primed and painted wood, painted stucco, ÄM 8501
Photo: © Sandra Steiß, Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Prussian Cultural Heritage, (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 DE)
Source: Original, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Neues Museum, Germany
Text: © Card at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, http://www.smb-digital.de/ (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 DE)
Additional text: I. Liao for: Helmbold-Doyé, J. / Jancziak, J. (Eds.), 'Alternating Identities' An exhibition with works by Gelbbas, special editions of the Egyptian Collection 4, Berlin 2015, The results of a multidisciplinary research project, Regensburg 2009, p. 135.




img_2538hor13463sm img_2538hor13463sm
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Hor


Tripartite mummy cover of Hor.

Catalog: Hawara, cartonnage, stucco, painted and gilded. ÄM 13463
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Neues Museum, Germany
Text: © Card at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, http://www.smb-digital.de/ (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 DE)




Egypt
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Djedhor


Painted wooden coffin and mummy of Djedhor

Ptolemaic Period, about 250 BC, from Akhmim. The outer wrappings of this mummy have been carefully coated with a black substance, which has been identified chemically as asphalt from the Dead Sea. This supports statements of classical historians such as Diodorus Siculus and Strabo (1st Century AD) that Dead Sea asphalt was exported to Egypt for use in mummification.


djedhor
Over this black coating have been placed a gilded mask and a group of painted cartonnage plaques, representing the goddess Nut with outstretched wings, the Sons of Horus, Isis and Nephthys and other deities. Since most of these figures are duplicated, it is possible that some of them were originally made for another mummy. CAT scans of the mummy show that the skeleton, that of an adult man, is in good condition.


djedhor
The arms are crossed on the breast. Damage to the nasal area is visible, indicating that the brain was removed via this orifice. Solidified fluid, probably resin, lies in the back of the skull, and artificial eyes are visible in the orbits. The chest and abdominal cavities appear empty, but an object - perhaps a rolled papyrus - lies between the legs.

Catalog: EA 29776
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card in museum, © Trustees of the British Museum




djedhor
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Djedhor


View of the painted wooden coffin and mummy of Djedhor from above.

This image allows us to see clearly the duplicated figures of the goddess Nut and other deities, possibly originally made for another mummy.

Catalog: EA 29776
Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
Source: Original, British Museum




djedhor
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Djedhor


Bronze hypocephalus of Djedhor.

From Abydos, cemetery G, tomb of Djedhor.

Note the four-headed Ram of Mendes adored by baboons, as well as the barques. Diameter 20 cm.

These inscribed discs, usually of plastered linen and less frequently of papyrus or bronze, were placed beneath the heads of mummies during the Late Period and the Ptolemaic era. The texts written on them are taken from spell 162 of the Book of the Dead, and were intended to provide life-giving heat to ensure the resurrection of the dead. Images of deities connected with the notions of creative power and renewed life supplemented the potency of the texts.

Catalog: EA 37330
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card in museum, http://www.britishmuseum.org/ , © Trustees of the British Museum




hypocephalus
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Hypocephalus


Stuccoed linen hypocephalus decorated with four painted registers of universal deities surrounded by a border of Hieroglyphs.

Ptolemaic period, 305 BC - 30 BC, probably from Thebes / Luxor. Diameter 212 mm.

( note that this hypocephalus is almost identical to the one of Neshorpakhered shown below. It has almost exactly the same design elements, and clearly came from the same tradition and time period, and possibly even from the same workshop, although it is of inferior artistic quality - Don )

Catalog: EA35875
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card in museum, http://www.britishmuseum.org/, © Trustees of the British Museum


hypocephalus
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Neshorpakhered


Hypocephalus of Neshorpakhered, 140 mm diameter.

Ptolemaic (?) Late Period (?), Thebes / Luxor, plaster/linen, Fourth to Third century BC.

At the top is a two-headed deity in human form who holds a sceptre in which is the image of the jacekal-headed god Wepwawet. Two gods appear in boats: on the left is a falcon with outspread wings, and on the right is a mummiform falcon-headed figure clearly recognisable as the sun god wearing the solar disc as his headdress. The scarab beetle, another manifestation of the sun, is depicted in front of him.

In the next register the god Amun Ra is depicted as a mummiform deity with four ram-heads, adored by pairs of baboons. Rotating the disc 180 degrees, one faces another scene, in which a cow is the principal figure, facing the Four Sons of Horus and a scarab beetle. The cow, at least, can be clearly related to spell 162 of 'The Book of the Dead', which is put in the mouth of an 'ihet' cow, there described as the mother of Ra. Behind the cow is a female figure whose head is the 'wedjat' eye within a disc, and a seated figure with upraised arm who faces a serpent with human legs. This part of the object is partly damaged.

Catalog: EA36188
Photo: Google Arts and Culture Project, https://www.google.com/, © Trustees of the British Museum
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: http://www.britishmuseum.org/, © Trustees of the British Museum


Hornedjitef
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Hornedjitef


The lid of the outer wooden coffin of Hornedjitef, son of Nekhthorheb, who held a large number of priestly offices.

Reign of Ptolomy III, 246 BC - 222 BC. From Asasif, Thebes / Luxor.

Catalog: EA6677
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: http://www.britishmuseum.org/ © Trustees of the British Museum


Hornedjitef
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Hornedjitef


Side view of the lid of the outer wooden coffin of Hornedjitef.

Catalog: EA6677
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum


Hornedjitef
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Hornedjitef


The lid of the outer wooden coffin of Hornedjitef.

Base and lid of the anthropoid outer coffin of Hornedjitef, son of Nekhthorheb, who held a large number of priestly offices, made of sycomore fig wood, stained black, eyes gilded, lid is inscribed with texts from the Book of the Dead with a representation, in central panel, of Isis and Nephthys shown mourning over the deceased, interior of the base is decorated with a standing figure of Nut.

Catalog: EA6677
Photo: Google Arts and Culture Project, © Trustees of the British Museum
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: http://www.britishmuseum.org/ © Trustees of the British Museum


HornedjitefHornedjitef
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Hornedjitef


A large figure of the goddess Nut is painted on the floor of the outer wooden coffin of Hornedjitef.

Catalog: EA6677
Photo (left): © Trustees of the British Museum
Photo (right): Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card in museum, © Trustees of the British Museum


Egypt
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Hornedjitef


Base and lid of the anthropoid wooden inner coffin of Hornedjitef, son of Nekhthorheb, who held a large number of priestly offices.

Reign of Ptolomy III, 246 BC - 222 BC. From Asasif, Thebes / Luxor.

Polychrome painted and gilded face, wig, collar and pectoral, winged scarab across breast, body inscribed with vertical registers of painted hieroglyphs, flanked by deities.

The rest of the surface is unelaborated, the interior of the base is also decorated.

Length 1945 mm, width 600 mm.

Registration Number 6678

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card in museum, http://www.britishmuseum.org/, © Trustees of the British Museum




Egypt
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Hornedjitef


Mummy of Hornedjitef (inner coffin).

Reign of Ptolomy III, 246 BC - 222 BC. From Asasif, Thebes / Luxor.

This, the inner coffin, has a fine gilded face, with curled and tapering beard and a richly decorated collar with terminals in the form of falcon heads. In the centre of this collar is depicted an image of the ba, and a pectoral (chest) ornament incorporating a scene in which Hornedjitef adores four deities.

Below the collar is an image of the sun-god as a winged scarab beetle, flanked by baboons who worship the rising sun disc. A funerary text is inscribed in hieroglyphs below. Either side of the text are figures of deities: the four Sons of Horus and the goddesses Isis and Nephthys.

The interior of the lid is decorated with many figures, mostly relating to astronomy. Their position on the lid of the coffin is particularly appropriate, as the lid was symbolically identified with the heavens stretched above the deceased.

The central, full-face figure is that of the sky-goddess Nut, on whose body is written the text of chapter 89 of the Book of the Dead. To her left is a list of planets and decans (stars that rose every 10 days, by which the passage of time could be reckoned during the night). To the right of the goddess are the constellations of the northern hemisphere.

Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
Source: Google Arts and Culture Project
Text: Card in museum, © Trustees of the British Museum, © https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/asset/mummy-of-hornedjitef-inner-coffin/vgHJIobGkBxTQg




papyrus
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Hornedjitef


Section of the Book of the Dead papyrus of Hornedjitef, sheet 1, length 630 mm, height 438 mm.

Reign of Ptolemy III, 246 BC - 222 BC, from Asasif, Thebes / Luxor.

This hieratic papyrus, containing a selection from chapters 1 - 42 of the Book of the Dead, was found lying on the lid of the inner coffin. Another papyrus belonging to the same man, and now in the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, contains a further selection, from chapters 110 - 161.

Catalog: EA10037/1
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card at museum display, http://www.britishmuseum.org/, © Trustees of the British Museum




statuette
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Hornedjitef


Ptah-Sokar-Osiris statue of Hornedjitef.

Reign of Ptolemy III, 246 BC - 222 BC, from Asasif, Thebes / Luxor.

The statuette, of painted and gilded wood, represents the composite deity Ptah-Sokar-Osiris, whose function was to promote the resurrection of the deceased. In the long plinth is a cavity covered with a miniature sarcophagus, containing a small corn-mummy. This wrapped package of grain symbolised the regenerative power of Osiris as expressed through the germination of the corn.

Heights 575 mm and 175 mm, width 115 mm, length 402 mm

Catalog: EA9736
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card at museum display, http://www.britishmuseum.org/, © Trustees of the British Museum




Hornedjitef
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Hornedjitef


Mummy of Hornedjitef in painted and gilded cartonnage cover and mask.

Reign of Ptolomy III, 246 BC - 222 BC. From Asasif, Thebes / Luxor.

The surface is decorated with standard Egyptian funerary images, gilded on blue, green and red grounds. The mask presents an idealised image of the dead man, with the golden skin and curled beard (lost) of a divine being.


On the base of the foot are painted sandals bearing images of bound foreign captives, to symbolise the deceased's triumph over the forces of chaos which might threaten his survival in the netherworld.

Catalog: 6679
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card, British Museum, © Trustees of the British Museum


Hornedjitef
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Hornedjitef


Mummy of a man, aged 55-65, in a gilded and painted cartonnage mummy-case and separate mask, bearing the name Hornedjitef.

Skull - Almost totally obscured by the mask and wrappings.

Thorax and Abdomen - There is a profusion of small amulets at the base of the neck and upper part of the thorax. Within an otherwise almost empty body-cavity there are four large cylindrical masses of solidified linen and resin.


Catalog: EA6679
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: http://www.britishmuseum.org/, © Trustees of the British Museum


Hornedjitef
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Hornedjitef


There are no obvious fractures of the ribs or spinal column, but the bodies of the lumbar and dorsal vertebrae show well-marked arthritic changes, especially in the lumbar region. No obvious fractures of hips or pelvis.

Catalog: EA6679
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: http://www.britishmuseum.org/, © Trustees of the British Museum


Hornedjitef
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Hornedjitef


Arms - Flexed at the elbows, the forearms crossed over the upper abdomen.

Legs - No fractures, dislocations, or lines of arrested growth. There is an opacity between the knees which may represent a linen pad. Anklets of some non-metallic material are present.

Catalog: EA6679
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card in museum, © Trustees of the British Museum


HornedjitefHornedjitef Hornedjitef
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Hornedjitef


Gilded mask of Hornedjitef, in the form of a helmet.

Catalog: EA6679
Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
Source: Original, British Museum


Hyposcephalus of Hornedjitef Hyposcephalus of Hornedjitef
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Hornedjitef


Hypocephalus of Hornedjitef

Reign of Ptolomy III, 246 BC - 222 BC. From Asasif, Thebes / Luxor.

The hypocephalus is a disc of linen covered with plaster, painted and inscribed. Chapter 162 of the Book of the Dead, versions of which are inscribed on the hypocephali, state that its purpose was to provide the mummy with life-giving fire. It was placed inside the inner coffin, close to the mummy's head.

Catalog: EA8446
Photo (left): Don Hitchcock 2015
Photo (right): © Trustees of the British Museum
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card, British Museum, © Trustees of the British Museum




Egypt Egypt
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Hornedjitef


Posters in the British Museum with information on the coffins and mummy of the priest Hornedjitef.

Photo/text: © Trustees of the British Museum
Rephotography: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: British Museum




Harwa
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Hor-sa-tutu


Standing figure of Hor-sa-tutu (Horos, son of Thotoes), commander in chief in Lower Egypt.

Dimensions: 1150 x 670 x 330 mm

This statue of Horsatutu is undoubtedly one of the finest works of the late Ptolemaic era, commissioned by private individuals. Horsatutu has a lower and upper shirt, which can be seen mainly from the round and pointed cut-outs. On the left shoulder is a coat, which also covers a large part of the upper body. Beneath the thoracic arch was a vertical oblong incision for the attachment of an amulet - possibly a figure of the goddess Neith.

The rectangular shape of the head is dominated by sharply modelled facial creases. The hair surrounds the head like a cap and is divided into short crescent curls.

The inscription on the back pillar identifies the statue as Horos, the commander of the troops in the delta, who at the same time was priest of the goddess Neith in Sais. Originally the statue was placed in the temple of the goddess there. At a later date the hairstyle was reworked and the hair band as well as the necklace removed. These changes probably occurred at the time the sculpture was later moved during the rule of Caesar Augustus to Alexandria, the later place of discovery.


Catalog: Black Granite, Sais, ÄM 2271
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Neues Museum, Germany
Text: © Card at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, J. Helmbold-Doyé at http://www.smb-digital.de/ (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 DE)




Egypt
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Funerary stela


100 BC - 100 AD

Limestone

Egypt's powerful Ptolemaic Dynasty began with Ptolemy I, a Greek general under Alexander the Great. Greek became the official language of state administration but the new rulers needed to communicate with their Egyptian subjects. This funerary stela records the death of a man named Didymos, who died at the age of 27. The message is written in three different scripts: Greek, hieroglyphs, and Demotic, which was the everyday script used by literate Egyptians. As such, it was comprehensible to multiple levels of Egyptian society. After the death of Cleopatra VII in 30 BC Egypt became part of the Roman Empire.

Funerary stela of Didymos: a round-topped limestone funerary stela of 'D(id)ymos'. The stela is divided into two registers, topped by a winged sun-disk with pendant uraei or serpents. Below this is a scene of the deceased being led by Anubis before Osiris and Isis, whose names are written in hieroglyphs beside them. The hieroglyphic script is, significantly, used only in the pictorial space depicting the gods. In the bottom register are two horizontal lines of incised Greek text above two lines of incised demotic, crudely incised and virtually unintelligible.


Height 550 mm, width 325 mm, depth 90 mm, weight 20 kg.

Catalog: Abydos, EA838, 1857,0811.13
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2017
Text: Card, http://www.britishmuseum.org/, © Trustees of the British Museum
Source: Exhibition by the British Museum at the National Museum of Australia, Canberra




 mask  mask
Ptolemaic Dynasty: 305 BC - 30 BC

Helmet mask for a mummy


Cartonnage, painted and gilded, Ptolemaic Period, ca 1st century BC, from Qubbet el-Hawa.

This type of mask was placed over the head of the mummy during this period. The youthful features were not intended as a likeness of the deceased, but projected an idealised image for their existence in the afterlife. The mask also provided physical protection and could act as a substitute should the mummy's head be lost or damaged.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2014
Source: Original, Ägyptische Museum der Universität Bonn
Additional text: http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/aes/e/egyptian_mummy_mask.aspx, © Trustees of the British Museum








The Kush Kingdoms, centred on Meroë

Egypt's rival on the Nile, 1070 BC to 350 AD.



Around 740 BC the Kushite kings began to extend their control into Egypt, where they became known as the 25th Dynasty, 760 BC - 656 BC. It was a major power before the Roman Empire even existed. At its height the vast Kushite Empire united the Nile Valley from Khartoum in modern central Sudan to the Mediterranean. The army was vital in maintaining the Kushite state, although attacks still occurred, including an invasion in 24 BC by Gaius Petronius, the Roman prefect of Egypt.

The Kingdom of Kush, or Kush, was an ancient kingdom in Nubia, located at the confluences of the Blue Nile, White Nile and River Atbara in what is now Sudan and South Sudan. The Kushite era of rule in Nubia was established after the Bronze Age collapse and the disintegration of the New Kingdom of Egypt. Kush was centered at Napata during its early phase. After King Kashta ('the Kushite') invaded Egypt in the 8th century BC, the Kushite emperors ruled as pharaohs of the Twenty-fifth dynasty of Egypt for a century, until they were expelled by the Assyrians under the rule of Esarhaddon. During classical antiquity, the Kushite imperial capital was located at Meroë. In early Greek geography, the Meroitic kingdom was known as Aethiopia. The Kushite kingdom with its capital at Meroë persisted until the 4th century AD, when it weakened and disintegrated due to internal rebellion. The Kushite capital was eventually captured and burnt to the ground by the Kingdom of Aksum.
Text above: adapted from Wikipedia



Kushite fortress Kushite warrior god
The Kushite Kingdoms: 1070 BC to 350 AD

Kushite fortress


(left) Gateway into the Kushite fortress at Qasr Ibrim.

(right) The Kushite warrior god Apedemak depicted in a relief carving at the Musawwarat es-Sufra Lion Temple.

Photo (left): © SARS Alexander Archive
Photo (right): © Trustees of the British Museum
Source and text: Poster, British Museum, © Trustees of the British Museum




Nubian prisoner
The Kushite Kingdoms: 1070 BC to 350 AD

Bound prisoner


Bound prisoner, around 050 BC - 001 BC, from Meroë.

This solid-cast copper alloy ritual figure of a prisoner is inscribed with Meroitic text that says, 'This is the king of the Nubians'.

Catalog: EA65222
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card at museum display, http://www.britishmuseum.org/, © Trustees of the British Museum




Nubian prisoner
The Kushite Kingdoms: 1070 BC to 350 AD

Bound prisoner


The captive has characteristic Nubian features and is shown naked and bound. The Kushites typically represented their defeated enemies in this way. Nubia was the ancient name for the Nile Valley in southern Egypt and northern Sudan.

Catalog: EA65222
Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card at museum display, http://www.britishmuseum.org/, © Trustees of the British Museum




merowe
The Kushite Kingdoms: 1070 BC to 350 AD

Meroë


Meroë is an ancient city on the east bank of the Nile about 6 km north-east of the Kabushiya station near Shendi, Sudan, approximately 200 km north-east of Khartoum. Near the site are a group of villages called Bagrawiyah. This city was the capital of the Kingdom of Kush for several centuries.

Photo: Francis Geius - Mission SFDAS 2001 via Wikipedia
Permission: CC 1.0
Text: Wikipedia




Shanakdakhete

Reliefs from the interior of the funerary chapel of a Meroitic queen
From pyramid N.11 at Meroe

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum


Shanakdakhete
The Kushite Kingdoms: 1070 BC to 350 AD

Funerary chapel


Reliefs from the interior of the funerary chapel of a Meroitic queen. From pyramid N.11 at Meroe

From the early 3rd century BC until the 4th century AD the majority of Meroitic rulers were buried beneath pyramids close to the city of Meroe. On several occasions the kingdom was ruled by a queen whose title was Kandake. A distorted reference to this practice appears in Classical accounts, which report that the 'Ethiopians' were always ruled by women called Candace.

The ruler buried beneath pyramid N .11 was probably Queen Shanakdakhete (2nd century BC), the first of the ruling queens of Meroe. The reliefs exhibited here come from the south wall of the queen's funerary chapel and reflect the strong influence of pharaonic Egypt on Meroitic monumental sculpture. The chapel itself was built against the eastern face of the pyramid.


On the right, the queen sits enthroned, wearing an elaborate, decorated robe. Behind her is another royal personage, perhaps a prince. Bound prisoners are depicted beneath the Queen's throne, and the royal pair are protected by the wings of the goddess Isis.

On the left, rows of attendants bearing palm branches are represented, together with scenes in which religious ceremonies are enacted and offerings made to various deities. Among these depictions the queen's heart is shown being weighed in a balance, an episode derived from Egyptian beliefs about the afterlife.

Catalog: EA719
Rephotography: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Poster, British Museum, © Trustees of the British Museum
Text: Poster at the British Museum, © Trustees of the British Museum


Shanakdakhete
The Kushite Kingdoms: 1070 BC to 350 AD

Funerary chapel


The partially reconstructed funerary chapel of pyramid N.11 at Meroe.

Rephotography: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Poster, British Museum, © Trustees of the British Museum
Text: Poster at the British Museum, © Trustees of the British Museum




sandstone stela
The Kushite Kingdoms: 1070 BC to 350 AD

Sandstone stela


Sandstone stela inscribed in Meroitic script.

This is one of two large stelae discovered in a ruined building south of Meroe. At the top, above a row of bound captives, are the remains of a double scene showing two royal personages standing before a god and goddess. The rest of the space is occupied by an inscription in cursive script which is one of the longest known monumental texts in Meroitic.

It is largely indecipherable but the names of Queen Amanirenas and Prince Akinidad are recognisable. These rulers lived during the late 1st century BC, at the time of Meroe's conflict with the Romans. It has therefore been suggested that the stela was set up to commemorate the Meroitic raid on the First Cataract region under Roman occupation in 24 BC.

Catalog: EA1650
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card at museum display, © Trustees of the British Museum




sandstone stela
The Kushite Kingdoms: 1070 BC to 350 AD

Sandstone offering table


Sandstone offering table of a high official, 1st century AD, from Faras.

Above the central well are carved lotuses and loaves of bread. To each side stand figures of the Egyptian deities Nephthys and Anubis, pouring libations for the deceased. The text in cursive script begins with the standard invocation to Isis and Osiris.

The owner was a pesato, an official who functioned as a viceroy in the north of the Meroitic kingdom, with his base at Faras.

Catalog: EA1576
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card at museum display, © Trustees of the British Museum




shards
The Kushite Kingdoms: 1070 BC to 350 AD

Ostraca


Ostraca inscribed in cursive Meroitic, 1st-3rd century AD, from Qasr Ibrim.

Ostraca are fragments of broken pottery which were used for making informal notes and sketches.

Catalog: EA67972, EA71846, EA71847, EA71848
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card at museum display, © Trustees of the British Museum




pink statue
The Kushite Kingdoms: 1070 BC to 350 AD

Torso


Torso of a pink sandstone male figure wearing a kilt and incised necklace, from a Meroitic Cemetery at Faras.

Height 225 mm, width 110 mm, depth 90 mm.

Condition incomplete - head, legs and much of the back has been lost.

Catalog: EA51573
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: http://www.britishmuseum.org/, © Trustees of the British Museum




Female Ba-bird statue Female Ba-bird statue
The Kushite Kingdoms: 1070 BC to 350 AD

Ba-bird statue


Female Ba-bird statue, 200 BC - AD 350

A characteristic later Kushite (Meroitic) sculpture, this statue shows a part-human, part-bird figure. The creature embodied the Egyptian concept of the Ba, one of the forms of the soul of the deceased.

Often made of sandstone, such statues were set up outside the tombs of high-ranking individuals in Lower Nubia (southern Egypt and northern Sudan). This particular example presumably came from the tomb of a woman as it is in female form.

Catalog: EA53965
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card at museum display, http://www.britishmuseum.org/, © Trustees of the British Museum




arrows
The Kushite Kingdoms: 1070 BC to 350 AD

Kushite archery


Kushite archery, 300 BC - AD 350

The army was an important part of Kushite society, and rulers were often depicted holding weapons and wearing armour. Weaponry was also frequently buried with the dead, including iron arrowheads and stone 'thumb rings'.

The Kingdom of Kush was an ancient Nubian kingdom situated on the confluences of the Blue Nile, White Nile and River Atbara in what is now the Republic of Sudan. The Kushite era of rule in Nubia was established after the Bronze Age collapse and the disintegration of the New Kingdom of Egypt, and it was centered at Napata in its early phase.

Catalog: These may be some of: EA 51508 (tomb 1/2648), EA 51602 (tomb 1/2648/7) Gasr Ibrim, EA 71841 and EA 72123
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card at museum display, © Trustees of the British Museum
Additional text: Wikipedia




arrows
The Kushite Kingdoms: 1070 BC to 350 AD

Marble thumb ring


Kushite marble thumb ring, 300 BC - AD 350

Archers wore these to protect their thumb, so they could draw the bowstring further increasing the tension to make the arrow fly further and faster.

Diameter 35 mm.

After King Kashta invaded Egypt in the 8th century BC, the Kushite emperors ruled as pharaohs of the Twenty-fifth dynasty of Egypt for a century, until they were expelled by the Assyrians under the rule of Esarhaddon. During Classical antiquity, the Kushite imperial capital was at Meroe. In early Greek geography, the Meroitic kingdom was known as Aethiopia. By the 1st century AD, the Kushite capital had been captured by the Beja Dynasty, who tried to revive the empire.

Catalog: EA51521 (tomb 1087)
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card at museum display, © Trustees of the British Museum
Additional text: Wikipedia




gold archer amulet
The Kushite Kingdoms: 1070 BC to 350 AD

Gold amulet


Archer amulet, 300 BC - AD 350

This gold amulet of a kneeling ram-headed archer probably shows the Egyptian and Kushite god Amur.

The Kushite kingdom with its capital at Meroe persisted until the 4th century AD, when it weakened and disintegrated due to internal rebellion. The Kushite capital was eventually captured and burnt to the ground by the Kingdom of Axum.

Catalog: EA59872
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card at museum display, © Trustees of the British Museum
Additional text: Wikipedia








img_2429friendshipsm stela
Table with Latin inscription: Hospitality contract between families from Asturias (Spain)

152 AD

Location: Spain

Height 320 mm, width 200 mm.

Catalog: Bronze, Collection of Classical Antiquities, Fr. 2501
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Neues Museum, Germany
Text: © Card at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, http://www.smb-digital.de/ (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 DE)






The Graeco-Roman period

In many cases, it is not possible to identify artefacts to a narrow range of dates, but the style of the pieces irrevocably ties them to this latter stage of ancient Egyptian history, so they are grouped by many scholars under this heading



The Graeco-Roman Period (332 BC -395 AD) marks the end of Persian rule over Egypt. The Persians (who came from what is now Iran) were defeated by the Greek conqueror, Alexander the Great, who occupied Egypt and founded a new capital city at Alexandria. When Alexander's empire was divided after his death in 323 BC, his general Ptolemy acquired Egypt and established the Ptolemaic dynasty. Greek was the official language of Egypt under the Ptolemies. Greek influence in art, administration and military organisation continued for the next 300 years. The traditional gods were still worshipped but new gods were also introduced. The Romans gradually began to intervene in Egyptian affairs and in 30 BC they conquered Egypt. It became a province of the Roman empire. Roman influence affected every part of Egyptian life, from household utensils to religion. Roman emperors continued to be depicted as traditional pharaohs on temple relief
Text above: http://www.globalegyptianmuseum.org/

young girl coffin young girl coffin
Graeco-Roman Period: 332 BC - 395 AD

Coffin


Coffin of a young girl, Graeco-Roman period, circa 50 BC - 50 AD, found at Akhmim.

Wooden base and lid of an anthropoid wooden coffin: for the body of a young girl, with extended foot-board, covered with moulded stucco and painted: the girl, with long black hair, is shown wearing a red mantle, with a green fringe, over a long white tunic, with a snake-bracelet on each wrist, holding sprigs of laurel in her left hand

Length 109 cm, width 27 cm

Catalog: EA29587
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/, © Trustees of the British Museum




young girl coffin
Graeco-Roman Period: 332 BC - 395 AD

Coffin


Over the feet, painted so as to be seen by the deceased, is a winged sun-disc, with arms supporting festive symbols, and an ankh beneath, the relatively high sides of the base are decorated with representations of funerary deities and inscriptions, damaged in places.

Catalog: EA29587
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/, © Trustees of the British Museum




 pemsais
Graeco-Roman Period: 332 BC - 395 AD

Pemsais


Painted mummy case of a boy named Pemsais, first Century BC - first century AD, Graeco-Roman Period, from Akhmim.

This case appears to be made of mud with an outer layer of linen. Pamsais wears Hellenistic Greek costume, consisting of a blue undertunic, a red tunic with blue and white stripes, and a white mantle. His name is written in demotic beneath his left hand. He wears a blue and pink headdress with a raised band, perhaps a garland. At the back of the head is a mummification scene showing deities depicted in Egyptian style.

Length 890 mm, width 270 mm, height 245 mm.


Base and lid of a polychrome painted cartonnage mummy-case for the mummy of a young boy, called Pemsais, wearing a short tunic, with a cloak wrapped around the waist and draped over the left shoulder from behind, the name, in black painted Demotic, appears below the left hand, with mythological group represented on the top of the head.

Catalog: EA29589
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card at museum display, © Trustees of the British Museum


woman mummycase
Painted and gilded mummy case of an unnamed woman, Akhmim.


Graeco-Roman Period: 332 BC - 395 AD

Mummy Case


This case from the Graeco-Roman Period, 1st century BC - 1st century AD, is constructed from reused pieces of papyrus on which traces of writing are visible. The plastered exterior surface represents the dead woman dressed in a pink undertunic, a second tunic which is coloured blue with red stripes, and a striped linen mantle. A blue and gold lotus bud appears between the breasts, which are covered with gilded discs. The apron has a decorated border showing dancing figures and plant scrolls. Over the wig is a bound garland of pink, gold and blue flowers.

Length 165 cm, width 47 cm, height 36 cm.

Catalog: EA29585
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card with the display at the British Museum, http://www.britishmuseum.org/, © Trustees of the British Museum


woman mummycase
Graeco-Roman Period: 332 BC - 395 AD

Mummy Case


The soles of the sandals appear to be at least partly woven.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum




woman mummycase
Graeco-Roman Period: 332 BC - 395 AD

Mummy Case


Another view of the mummy case, from the left.

It is interesting that the sculptor has attempted to show the form of the woman's body beneath her clothing, with the navel and abdomen clearly indicated.

Catalog: EA29585
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card with the display at the British Museum, © Trustees of the British Museum




young girl coffin young girl coffin
Graeco-Roman Period: 332 BC - 395 AD

Coffin


Painted wooden coffin of a young woman.

The front of the coffin represents the dead girl dressed in classical costume. Her long cream-coloured tunic has black stripes, or clavi, and a woven black H-motif on the right sleeve. A pink mantle with green edging is worn over the tunic. The feet are represented wearing black thonged sandals. A wreath is painted over the hair, and earrings, now lost, were originally inserted into holes in the ears.

Snake bracelets are painted on both wrists, and in the left hand are two sprigs, perhaps of myrtle. In front of the feet is an inverted scene in Egyptian style, showing the winged solar disc, from which emerge human arms holding tally-sticks, and the hieroglyphic sign ankh, signifying 'life'. The group is probably to be interpreted as a promise of eternal life through the power of the sun-god.

The sides of the coffin are decorated with figures of Egyptian deities arranged in registers.

Catalog: EA29587
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card at museum display, © Trustees of the British Museum




 woman mummycase woman mummycase
Graeco-Roman Period: 332 BC - 395 AD

Taminis


Taminis from Akhmim, Graeco-Roman Period, 1st century BC - 1st century AD.

Base and lid of a polychrome painted cartonnage mummy-case for the mummy of Taminis, daughter of Peteminis (or Spemminis), face and hair gilded, wearing a short-sleeved tunic, the border being decorated with hunting scenes and vignettes of domestic activities, which reaches to the ankles, the mantle, knotted between the breasts, covers the right shoulder and the loose end is drawn over the left shoulder from behind, and sandals; the name, in black painted Demotic, appears on the left shoulder; other funerary deities are represented around the edges of the lid; colours now faded.

Tamanis is represented dressed in classical costume and jewellery. She wears a pink undertunic and a striped linen shawl ove the shoulders. A demotic inscription (ancient Egyptian script derived from northern forms of hieratic used in the Nile Delta, and the stage of the Egyptian language written in this script, following Late Egyptian and preceding Coptic) on the left shoulder gives the name and parentage of the dead woman. A second tunic is visible on the arms and shins. The skirt is decorated with a figured scene of hunting, dancing to the music of flutes, and brewing beer. The jewellery includes earrings with bull's head terminals of late Hellenistic Greek type, necklaces, bracelets, and a variety of different rings.

Length 151 cm, width 54 cm, height 48 cm.

Catalog: EA29586
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card with the display at the British Museum, http://www.britishmuseum.org/, © Trustees of the British Museum




pink woman mummycase
Graeco-Roman Period: 332 BC - 395 AD

Girl from Akhmim


Painted and gilded mummy case of a girl from Akhmim, Graeco-Roman Period, 1st century BC - 1st century AD.

This case appears to be made of mud, plastered on the outside and whitewashed on the interior. The painted decoration reproduces typical features of the trappings of a mummy of the Ptolemaic Period, with bead-net, gilded mask, large collar with falcon-head terminals, and cartonnage plaques. The feet are represented wearing sandals.

The painted bead-net includes a representation of Nut, with outstretched wings on the breast, with the falcon of Horus beneath.

Length 1100 mm, width 359 mm.

Catalog: EA29590
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card with the display at the British Museum, http://www.britishmuseum.org/, © Trustees of the British Museum


pink woman mummycase pink woman mummycase
Graeco-Roman Period: 332 BC - 395 AD

Girl from Akhmim


Painted and gilded mummy case of a girl from Akhmim, Graeco-Roman Period, 1st century BC - 1st century AD, as above.

Catalog: EA29590
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card with the display at the British Museum, http://www.britishmuseum.org/, © Trustees of the British Museum




bearded man bearded man
Graeco-Roman Period: 332 BC - 395 AD

Man from Akhmim


Bearded man from Akhmim, Graeco-Roman Period, 1st century BC - 1st century AD.

The case is made from mud mixed with straw or chaff, with an outer skin of textile and an inner coating of plaster.

The decoration is in traditional Egyptian style, the surface painted to represent a bead-net incorporating a collar, with a winged sun-disc and cartonnage or textile plaques decorated with figures of gods.

Catalog: EA29584
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card with the display at the British Museum, http://www.britishmuseum.org/, © Trustees of the British Museum




bearded man
Graeco-Roman Period: 332 BC - 395 AD

Man from Akhmim


The feet are represented wearing sandals. Unusually, a naturalistic beard and moustache are painted on the face. The eyes are inlaid with glass.

Length 1740 mm, width 525 mm, height 480 mm.

Catalog: EA29584
Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card with the display at the British Museum, http://www.britishmuseum.org/, © Trustees of the British Museum




pink woman mummycase pink woman mummycase
Graeco-Roman Period: 332 BC - 395 AD

Mummy case of an infant


Painted and gilded mummy case of an infant, from Akhmim, Graeco-Roman Period, 1st century BC - 1st century AD.

The constructional details of this case are not fully visible, but the materials used included linen and other plant fibre. A painted bead-net on a pink background imitates the garment often shown worn by Osiris. The modelled arms and hands grasping the crook and flail sceptres emphasise the symbolic association between the dead child and the god. The elaborate falcon=head terminals of the collar are unusually represented as shown standing proud of the shoulders.

A gold pectoral is represented on the breast, and figures of the four Sons of Horus are painted on the sides. The gilded face-mask is surmounted by a row of gilded uraeus-serpents and a solar disc. The support for a crown, now lost, survives at the top of the head.

Catalog: EA29588
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card with the display at the British Museum, © Trustees of the British Museum




pink woman mummycase
Graeco-Roman Period: 332 BC - 395 AD

Mummy case of an infant


Painted and gilded cartonnage mummy case of an infant, sex uncertain, from Akhmim, Graeco-Roman Period, 1st century BC - 1st century AD.

Skull - Flexed. No obvious fractures. Thorax and Abdomen - Owing to tight bandaging, the thoracic cage has been compressed and some of the ribs are fractured. A segment of the dorsal spine has been dislocated and is displaced to the left. A dense, cylindrical object lies in the right hemithorax. A similar object lies in the left hemithorax.

Pelvis - Apparently empty. The pelvic bones and hips appear normal. Arms - Crossed on the breast (right over left). The palms of the hands, fingers extended, lie just below the shoulders. No fractures or dislocations seen. Legs - The bones and joints appear normal. No fractures or dislocations seen.

The mummy-case is made in the form of Osiris. The face is gilded, the head originally surmounted by a crown. There is a gilded pectoral around neck, showing in relief a scarab flanked by falcons, crowned with solar discs, that surmounts an elaborate collar with free-standing falcon-headed terminals. The arms are not crossed, but the figure does hold crook and flail and wears bracelets. The body is painted to represent a bead-net and decorated with painted amulets, in the form of the four Sons of Horus, with a vertical register of corrupt hieroglyphs down centre of body.

Length 810 mm, width 235 mm, length 780 mm (mummy).

Catalog: EA29588
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: http://www.britishmuseum.org/, © Trustees of the British Museum








The Roman / Byzantine Period

30 BC - 619 AD



The Roman province of Egypt was established in 30 BC after Octavian (the future emperor Augustus) defeated his rival Mark Antony, deposed his lover Queen Cleopatra VII and annexed the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt to the Roman Empire. The province encompassed most of modern-day Egypt except for the Sinai Peninsula (which would later be conquered by Trajan). Aegyptus was bordered by the provinces of Creta et Cyrenaica to the West and Iudaea (later Arabia Petraea) to the East.

The province came to serve as a major producer of grain for the empire and had a highly developed urban economy. Aegyptus was by far the wealthiest Eastern Roman province. In Alexandria, its capital, it possessed the largest port, and the second largest city, of the Roman Empire.

By 285 AD the Roman Empire had grown so vast that it was no longer feasible to govern all the provinces from the central seat of Rome. The Emperor Diocletian divided the empire into halves with the Eastern Empire governed out of Byzantium (later Constantinople) and the Western Empire governed from Rome. Both sections were known equally as 'The Roman Empire' although, in time, the Eastern Empire would adopt Greek instead of Latin and would lose much of the character of the traditional Roman Empire.

From 395 AD, with the final division of the Roman Empire, Egypt was part of the (Eastern) Byzantine Roman Empire.

The period of official 'Roman' rule of Egypt ended with the Sassanian Persian invasion in 619 AD
Text above: Adapted from Wikipedia and http://www.ancient.eu/Western_Roman_Empire/





The Roman Period

30 BC - 395 AD



 gilded mask  gilded mask
Roman Period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Mareis


Gilded cartonnage mummy-mask of Mareis. Obsidian and limestone eyes cased in bronze (lost on left side). Greek text on forehead, painted funerary scenes on front and back.

Height 51 cm, width 38 cm, circa 20 AD - 40 AD

Provenance: Middle Egypt, Faiyum, Hawara

Catalog: 21807
Photo (left): Don Hitchcock 2015
Photo (right): © Trustees of the British Museum
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/ © Trustees of the British Museum




 gilded mask  gilded mask
Roman Period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Mareis


These photographs bring out the gilded nature of the piece, and also show that it is what is generally called a 'helmet' rather than a Mummy-Mask.

Catalog: 21807
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum




Aline
Roman Period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Aline


Family Burial: Mummy portrait of the lady Aline

1st half of the 1st century AD.

Dimensions: 420 x 325 x 20 mm

In the Roman period mummies previously covered with a mask for better identification were replaced in the Fayum with painted portraits on linen or wood panels. Often they are real portraits showing the person at an advanced age and painted during their lifetime. This portrait shows Aline, daughter of Herodotus, who died at the age of 35 years.


The custom to place portraits on the mummy was limited to a small area. The circa 750 preserved paintings are the only evidence from Egypt of Hellenistic portrait painting. On the basis of dress, hairstyle and jewellery which orients itself on the Roman Emperors' fashion it is possible to date these portraits precisely. Alina's curls neatly arranged correspond to the fashion under the Emperor Tiberius and thus she died during his 10 year of rule.

The mummy of Aline was found together with the mummy of her husband and 3 children . Her husband and older child are covered with mummy masks while she and the two younger children are covered with flat mummy portraits.

Richard von Kaufmann, a Berlin art collector, conducted his own excavations in 1892 in Hawara, a site in the Fayum. He came across a Roman burial chamber in which a total of eight stacked mummies lay. At the bottom, a mummy with the painted portrait of a mature woman came to light, in the immediate vicinity of a stele (ÄM 11415). The Greek inscription gives the name Aline, the age of death at 35 years and year 10 of an unnamed emperor. All this information refers to the female funeral, of which today only the picture has been preserved. This was isolated on the spot from the mummy and the mummy itself unwound. The excavator also cut off the head with the intention to give it to the physician Rudolf Virchow for the purpose of a face reconstruction, which was also implemented. Unfortunately, although today we have taken every opportunity to examine this work using modern examination methods, since the head as well as all other body parts can no longer be found, it remains unresolved whether it is a real portrait or an idealised representation of the deceased.

Catalog: Hawara: Tempera painting on linen, partially gilded, ÄM 11411
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Neues Museum, Germany
Text: © Card at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Jana Helmbold-Doyé at http://www.smb-digital.de/, (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 DE)
Additional text: http://www.egyptian-museum-berlin.com/c34.php




Aline's husband
Roman Period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Husband of Aline


Family Burial: Mummy mask of the lady Aline's husband.

1st half of the 1st century AD.

Dimensions: 537 x 428 x 128 mm

The excavator Richard von Kaufmann does not give any details about the mummification of the man with the mask and since this body was also unwrapped on the spot in Egypt. Today only the mask itself remains. It was made of textile/cardboard, the stucco layer is provided in large parts with a gold coating. Two holes on the bottom of the mask bear witness to its original attachment to the body.

We can see a man with a full beard and two rows of curled strands of hair over his forehead. Both arms are bent and wrapped in a toga. Underneath he wears a tunic, a kind of long shirt. The cloth pulled over the head, a capite velato, or head covering, distinguishes the man as offering himself to the gods according to a Roman rite. His gesture can at the same time be understood as a humble attitude towards the gods to secure their goodwill. In his right hand he is holding a wreath or garland of rose petals.

The only jewellery is to be found on the ring finger of his left hand - a signet ring with an undecorated oval plate. Rings were among the most popular pieces of jewellery of the Romans. The ornate, expensive rings of the Roman men were often not only jewellery, but also had the purpose of sealing documents as a sign of authenticity. At this time, official documents were not provided with a signature, but sealed with the seal of the sender. This ring can be understood as an attribute of a man who belonged to the upper part of the bourgeois-aristocratic system.

The assumption that he is a person of high social status is reinforced by the intricately worked eyes: while the interior is made of black and white stone, the eyelashes were made from carefully cut bronze sheet. Unlike other masks, however, the brows are not made of glass but painted black.

Catalog: Hawara: Textile, stuccoed, gilded, painted. Eye inlays white and black stone, eyelashes bronze (metal), ÄM 11414
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Neues Museum, Germany
Text: © Card at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Jana Helmbold-Doyé at http://www.smb-digital.de/, (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 DE)




Aline's child


Roman Period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Daughter of Aline


Family Burial: Mummies with painted portraits.

1st half of the 1st century AD, dimensions: 1035 x 310 x 240 mm.

The largest of the three mummies of children from the grave of the Aline is enclosed by a tape winding, which consists of uncoloured as well as reddish to brownish linen bandages. Two ends of the unstained bands were knotted on the left narrow side of the body, approximately at the level of the calf. The head and chest area is still today, as well as the feet, enclosed by textile cartons.

While the mask, which also embraces the upper body as in a bust, depicts a young woman, the investigation revealed that it is the mummy of a 6- to 7-year-old girl. The mask shows a well-fed, richly decorated young woman with her arms bent. This is elaborately painted and provided in the area of ​​skin and jewellery with a gold coating. Her hairstyle consists of a long fringe and small three dimensionally worked curls on the temples. Her black hair leaves the ears free.

The woman wears a violet-coloured coat, which is pulled up over her head, and underneath a tunic with black strips of cloth, called clavi. In her right hand she holds a garland made of rose petals. Hedgehog earrings, a pearl necklace with a lunula pendant, two bracelets on the upper arms, two double-headed snake-bangles on the forearms and an oval signet ring on the little finger of the left hand can be seen as jewellery. The chest panel ends at the bottom with a colour guide and rosettes. On the top and the back of the mask is the goddess Nut in the form of a vulture, who spreads his wings protectively.

This list clearly indicates a rich and at the same time protected social position of the deceased. This impression is reinforced by the no less impressive shroud.

Catalog: Hawara: Mummy; Cardboard / textile; painted and partly gilded, ÄM 12125/6 (AE 12125/02 on the online catalog)
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Neues Museum, Germany
Text: © Card at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Jana Helmbold-Doyé at http://www.smb-digital.de/, (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 DE)




Aline's child
Roman Period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Daughter of Aline


Family Burial: Mummy of a human female child with painted portrait.

1st half of the 1st century AD, dimensions: 830 x 270 x 200 mm

Examination of the child's mummy using computer tomography (CT) revealed that the girl was at most four years old. Her body is carefully bound by a textile winding. In the diamond shapes so formed, stucco buttons are visible, which are covered with ochre painting and partially covered with gold foil.

On the mummy portrait, a serious-looking girl looks out at us from a colourfully executed face with cherubic round features. Her curly hair seems to be set back, while her temples and forehead are draped in a series of carefully arranged ringlets. She wears a dark brown tunic with a wide-cut rhomboid neck opening and white textile stripes, Clavi. Due to the poor state of preservation it is not clear whether there is a thin undergarment in pale pink underneath. The girl wears a laurel wreath in her hair, as well as golden hedgehog earrings and a golden chain on which a crescent-shaped pendant may be suspected.


Catalog: Hawara: Mummy; Textile, painted (tempera); Stucco, painted and partly gilded, ÄM 11412
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Neues Museum, Germany
Text: © Card at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Jana Helmbold-Doyé at http://www.smb-digital.de/, (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 DE)




Aline's child
Roman Period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Child of Aline


Family Burial: Mummy of a human child with painted portrait.

1st half of the 1st century AD, dimensions: 780 x 230 x 220 mm

The portrait shows the chubby face of a child with curly dark hair, whose head is surrounded by a laurel wreath of golden leaves. So far, this mummy has been interpreted as the burial of a boy due to the location of the hands on the lower abdomen.

However, Barbara Borg and Cecilia Fluck have argued against the mummy portrayal with the following arguments: crescent-shaped pendants, lunulae, are apotropaic protective amulets derived from ancient Egyptian prototypes, which were supposed to protect women and girls and were therefore worn exclusively by them as pendants. Only very rarely are representations of boys depicted with a lunula. In this case it is a tripartite pendant whose outer elements depict lunulae, whereas the middle part is not clearly recognisable. Furthermore, attention is drawn to the lilac robe, which was also reserved solely for the female sex, and also the bared shoulder to emphasise the feminine charms and in reference to representations of the goddess of love Aphrodite.

All observations undoubtedly identify the portrait as being of a girl - a conclusion which is diametrically opposed by the results of the CT scans. The CT scans show that this is the mummy of a boy who is about 2½ years old.

Catalog: Hawara: Mummy; Textile, painted (tempera); Stucco, painted and partly gilded, ÄM 11413
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Neues Museum, Germany
Text: © Card at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Jana Helmbold-Doyé at http://www.smb-digital.de/, (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 DE)




Pasyg Pasyg
Roman Period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Pasyg


Mummy mask of Pasyg, also known as Pa-remet-syg.

Circa 1st century AD.

Mummy mask of Pa-remet-syg with Demotic* inscription.

Dimensions: 420 x 310 x 560 mm.

This mummy mask belongs to a group of objects from the middle Egyptian cemetery of Meir. It depicts a young man whose elaborately designed mask captivates with its colourful splendour and its richness in detail. There are numerous protective divine beings and symbols. Thus, the back is dominated by a ba souls bird, which stretches out its arms and wings. On both sides are gods accompanied by the goddesses Isis and Nephthys.


Mention should also be made of the insert at chest height on the front, which shows a crouching Ibis on a neb sign, or basket.

Pasyg The nebet hieroglyph portrayed the concept of two words that sounded identical. Neb, 'all' and neb, 'lord' or 'master'. The glyph was used interchangably to represent these concepts. The hieroglyph for the basket was the outline of a bowl, which approximated the appearance of Egyptian wicker baskets. The hieroglyph was often painted yellow or green to match the colour of the plants (rushes, palm leaves and grasses) used to make them. More detailed images of the symbol showed horizontal lines or a checkerboard pattern to give the appearance of basket weaving.

The Ibis is a manifestation of the (now) mobile dead and therefore their godlike nature.

( Note that this mask, VÄGM 1989/111, appears to be the inner mask of Pa-remet-syg, with the head of the mummy inside it, with the outer mask shown below, ÄM 34436, fitting over the top of the inner mask - Don )

* The mask of Pa-remet-syg (Greek form Promsiko) is the only one from Meir which shows the name of the owner on the back, as well as the name of his father Pshentahe in Demotic script form, that is in 'letter writing' form, written and read from right to left, while earlier hieroglyphics could be written from top to bottom, left to right, or right to left.

Catalog: Textile (material / cardboard); primed, painted, partially gilded; Glass (inlays), Meir, VÄGM 1989/111
Photo: (left) Don Hitchcock 2015
Photo: (right) © Margarete Büsing, http://www.smb-digital.de/, (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 DE)
Source: Original, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Neues Museum, Germany
Text: © Card at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Jana Helmbold-Doyé at http://www.smb-digital.de/, (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 DE)
Additional text: Wikipedia, http://www.egyptianmyths.net/basket.htm




Pasyg Pasyg
Roman Period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Pasyg


Mummy mask of Pasyg, also recorded as Aischines or Aischynes in Greek. Aischines was also the name of a famous orator from Athens, who lived in the 4th Century BC.

Circa 1st century AD.

Both these names, Pasyg and Aischines, have a root referring to physical weakness, while his father is probably called Malakos, meaning mild or effeminate, and was known in Egyptian as Pashertaihet, and in Greek as Psentaes, literally 'the son of a cow', or 'coward'. The individuals in the Meir burials operated comfortably in a bilingual society, including Greek and Egyptian names (Riggs 2006).

( note that the online catalog lists this mummy mask as being of an unknown man, while the museum card records it as being of the man Pasyg - Don )

Dimensions: 500 x 300 x 550 mm (including base)

The mummy mask shows a young, beardless man with hair in ringlets, which can be seen on the forehead under the coloured headscarf. The cloth is formed in the shape of an Egyptian triangular wig, on the front of which are depicted jackals, representations of the god Anubis, as well as eight Uraeus, the stylized, upright form of an Egyptian cobra, used as a symbol of sovereignty, royalty, deity and divine authority in ancient Egypt.


In the middle is a broad necklace, a neck or shoulder collar, under which a scarab protects its wings, shown here as separate from the body of the scarab. Around the back of the head there is a frieze with the four Horus sons, Amset, Duamutef, Hapi and Kebechsenuf, sacrificed before the central-dominating god Horus. Horus, as Lord of Heaven, appears in a falcon shape with a sun-disc. In the brief hieroglyphic inscriptions, the gods are named, but neither the title nor name of the deceased, to whose grave the mask belonged, is shown.

( Note that this mask, ÄM 34436, appears to be the outer mask of Pa-remet-syg, fitting over the top of the inner mask, VÄGM 1989/111, shown above - Don )

Catalog: Textile (material / cardboard); primed, painted, partially gilded, Meir, ÄM 34436
Photo: (left) Don Hitchcock 2015
Photo: (right) © Margarete Büsing, http://www.smb-digital.de/, (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 DE)
Source: Original, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Neues Museum, Germany
Text: © Card at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Jana Helmbold-Doyé at http://www.smb-digital.de/, (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 DE)
Additional text: Wikipedia




woman mask
Roman Period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Mask of a woman


Mummy mask of a woman with bracelets in the form of snakes.

Circa 1st century AD.

Textile (material / cardboard); primed, painted, partially gilded; Flax fibers (hair); Faience (inlays) Dimensions: 520 x 360 x 570 mm (incl. Base)

Masks such as these typically come from Roman graves in Central Egyptian Meir. Although the woman is unknown, she was in the upper class, since a funeral with a mask of this kind was granted only to wealthy people.


We can see that the woman has the white complexion preferred by the Romans instead of the yellow skin common in Egypt. Fittingly, the elegant presentation of her clothes, jewellery and hairstyle shows the Roman fashions of her time. Protective amulets include the snake bracelets and the lunula pendant found on the shorter necklace. These crescent-shaped pendants, lunulae, are apotropaic (supposedly having the power to avert evil influences or bad luck) amulets derived from ancient Egyptian prototypes, which specifically protect women and girls and were therefore worn exclusively by them.

Her black curly hair was imitated with dyed flax and adorned with a simple hair ring made of different plants. At the top and the back of the mask is the soulbird Ba, who spreads his wings protectively, shown with a female head and a bird's body. On both sides, on cloth strips, gods sacrifice, burn incense and pour water into a bowl on a high stand.

Catalog: Meir: plaster and linen, ÄM 34435
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Neues Museum, Germany
Text: © Card at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Jana Helmbold-Doyé, at http://www.smb-digital.de/, (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 DE)




woman mask
Roman Period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Mask of a woman


Mummy mask of a woman with a rose petal wreath

Circa 1st century AD.

Textile (material / cardboard); primed, painted, partially gilded; Flax fibers (hair); Faience (inlays) Dimensions: 530 x 370 x 590 mm (incl. Base)

The Berlin Museum presents a total of four mummy masks from the early Roman Empire, all of which originate from the central Egyptian town of Meir. This example is the mask of a wealthy woman, who is lavishly decorated with jewellery.

She wears earrings, two necklaces, finger rings, and bracelets. New research has shown that the curly hair was imitated from black coloured flax. On the hair there is also a wide hair wreath, which has, in addition to colourfully painted leaves of rose petals, a centrally positioned oval medallion.


She is clad in the Roman fashion with a dark red chiton, on which bands (clavi) are to be seen in gold-studded dark green. In addition, the back of the head is surrounded by a frieze depicting Egyptian gods. The central figure shows the god Osiris, approached on both sides in a procession of gods, with the deceased at the rear.

Catalog: Meir: plaster and linen, ÄM 34434
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Neues Museum, Germany
Text: © Card at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Jana Helmbold-Doyé, at http://www.smb-digital.de/, (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 DE)




painted shroud
Roman Period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Mummy with shroud


Mummy of an unidentified youth with painted shroud.

Roman period, about 200 - 250 AD, Probably from Thebes / Luxor.


painted shroud
Roman Period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Mummy with shroud


During the Roman period, the outer shroud frequently bore a full-length painted figure of the deceased in classical dress. This example, painted in tempera, depicts the dead man holding a garland of rosebuds and a sprig of myrtle.

Below the waist is an 'apron' decorated with a winged solar disc and a rhomboidal bead-net pattern: the ties of this apron extend to the shoulders. To each side of the central figure are scenes relating to burial and resurrection, drawn from both Egyptian and Roman sources.


painted shroud
Roman Period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Mummy with shroud


CAT scans of the mummy show that the skeleton is in excellent condition. The arms are placed at the sides, and the head is slightly flexed forward, a position observed in a number of mummies of this period. Scans also show that a section of wooden pole had been used by the embalmers to support the spinal portion of the body. The state of fusion of the long bones suggests that the young man died in late adolescence, in agreement with the appearance of the portrait on the shroud.

The mummy is loosely bandaged and wrapped in a linen shroud, ornamented with a tempera painted portrait. The skull has all teeth present. There are no obvious fractures. The thorax and abdomen are apparently empty. There are no fractures or dislocations of the ribs, spinal column, pelvis, or hips. The lumbar and dorsal intervertebral discs appear opaque. The arms are extended. The hands with extended fingers are in contact with the outer aspect of the thighs. In the legs, there is a crack fracture in the medial part of the lower end of the right tibia. The menisci are opaque. There are no lines of arrested growth.

Catalog: EA6709
Photo (upper two): Don Hitchcock 2015
Photo (lowest, at left): © Trustees of the British Museum
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: http://www.britishmuseum.org/, © Trustees of the British Museum




Corn Mummy
Roman Period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Corn mummy


Corn mummy from Tuna el-Gebel, the necropolis of Khmun, Hermopolis Magna, located in Middle Egypt.

0 - 200 AD, Roman period, 50 cm.

Sycomore fig wood, earth, grain

Ficus sycomorus grows to 20 metres tall and 6 metres wide, grown in rich soils along rivers and in mixed woodlands. The fruit is a large and edible fig, 2-3 cm in diameter. It was the ancient Egyptian Tree of Life. It was widely cultivated in ancient Egypt.

Photo: https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/asset-viewer/mummy-of-corn/SgG5mTcdSCntYg?projectId=art-project
Text: http://www.rmo.nl/collectie/-topstukken-/?1273




woman mummycase
Roman Period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Construction of the coffins


Roman Period, 30 BC - 50 AD

The mummy-cases from the tomb illustrate the coexistence of several different techniques of coffin construction. The majority are hollow shells built up over a disposable core using a variety of materials: mud, linen, plaster and - in one case - scraps of discarded papyrus documents some of which still bear traces of writing in ink. This technique was common during the Ptolemaic and early Roman periods. A coating of plaster applied to the exterior (and sometimes to the interior) of the cases served as a base for the decoration in paint and gold leaf.

The small coffin of a girl (EA29587) is of a different type, it is made of wood, with sculpted and painted details; the iconography combines traditional Egyptian funerary scenes on the sides, with a depiction of the deceased in classical dress.

Catalog: EA29585
Photo: Poster at the British Museum, © Trustees of the British Museum
Rephotography: Don Hitchcock 2015




mummy
Roman Period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Mummy of a young man


Mummy of a young man, Roman period, after 30 BC. Provenance unknown.

The arrangement of the outer bandages of this mummy in a rhomboidal pattern was a fashion introduced about the 26th Dynasty (664 BC - 525 BC) and became common during the Ptolemaic and Roman periods. Such wrapping is sometimes associated with a gilded cartonnage mask, body plaques and sandals (as here), or with a plaster head or portrait panel.


mummy


mummy


mummy


mummy
Roman Period: 30 BC - 395 AD

CAT scans


CAT scans show that the body is that of a young man who died aged no more than 21-23 years. The skeleton is in good anatomical condition but sections of the spine are missing. The arms are crossed on the chest, and the skull appears to be empty. Linen packing is visible in the abdominal area, but it is uncertain whether or not this material contains the internal organs.

Catalog: EA2400
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card at museum display © Trustees of the British Museum




mummy
Roman Period: 30 BC - 395 AD

EA2400 CAT scans


Further information about EA2400:

Rectangular wooden coffin with a cornice around the top; containing the mummy of a man aged 20-21, name unknown.

Skull - The head and chest are covered by a cartonnage mask with a gilded face, the artificial eyes of which and the eyebrows are outlined in dark blue glass, with protective deities at the sides of the head and funerary deities represented on the lappets of the wig. Mouth partly open. All teeth present. The cervical spine is widely dislocated at the level of the 4th vertebra, and the 5th is lying loose in the neck. The 6th and 7th cervical vertebrae are in normal anatomical relationship with the dorsal spine.

Thorax and Abdomen - Covered by a painted cartonnage pectoral, decorated with a winged solar disc with uraei and a vignette, showing Anubis mummifying the deceased, flanked by Isis and Nephthys, beneath. There is linen packing in the left upper zone of the thorax, and also in the pelvis and abdomen. The 5th, 6th, 7th, and 12th dorsal vertebrae are missing; the remaining dorsal vertebrae and lumbar spine appear normal.

The upper four ribs on both sides are normal; all the rest are dislocated at their costo-vertebral articulations, and are lying haphazardly, but not fractured. The pelvis and hips appear normal. Iliac epiphyses not quite fused, hence inference of age. The penis is bandaged separately.

Arms - flexed at the elbows, forearms crossed over the breast, right over left, hands on shoulders. Legs - Faint lines of arrested growth at lower ends of tibiae, otherwise no joint or bone lesion. Many fragments of the linen mummy-wrappings, removed during restoration in September 1970, are now stored separately.

Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
Text: http://www.britishmuseum.org/ © Trustees of the British Museum




 mummy
Roman Period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Man from Akhmim


Mummy of an unidentified man, from Akhmim, 169 cm long.

Late Ptolemaic or Roman period, 1st century BC - 1st century AD.

The outer wrappings of this mummy have been coated with a thick layer of a black resinous substance, perhaps bitumen. Over this are placed elaborate coverings made of painted and gilded cartonnage.

These consist of a mask, with a winged scarab beetle and solar disc on the top of the head; a body-cover incorporating a collar, and decorated with figures of various deities including Osiris and the sky-goddess Nut; and a footcase with sandals elaborately modelled in a twisted and gilded linen.


 mummy
X-rays of the body show that the arms are fully extended. The skeleton, that of an adult man of robust build, appears to be in good condition. A dense packing material, perhaps sand or mud, is visible within the thoracic and abdominal cavities.

Catalog: EA29782
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card at museum display, © Trustees of the British Museum


Additional information on the mummy above from the British Museum website:

Mummy of a heavily built adult man, name unknown. The body is enclosed in a cartonnage cover of separate pieces. There is a gilded and painted cartonnage mummy-mask and open-work covers for body and feet. The mummy is thickly coated with a black resinous substance, resembling pitch.

Skull - Mouth slightly open. No obvious fractures. There is a fairly dense lobulated mass within the skull. The cervical spine appears to be intact.
Thorax and Abdomen - The cavities are filled with sand, mud, or some dense amorphous material. No fractures in ribs, spinal column, pelvis, or hips.
Arms - Extended. Hands with extended fingers, the palmar surface in contact with the outer aspect of the thighs.
Legs - No fractures, dislocations, or lines of arrested growth.

Text: http://www.britishmuseum.org/, © Trustees of the British Museum




Soter Soter
Roman Period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Soter


Base-board and cover of the wooden coffin of Soter, son of Cornelius Pollius and Archon of Thebes / Luxor, with polychrome painted and gilded decoration and inscriptions.

Roman Period, circa 100 - 120 AD, from Sheikh Abd el-Qurna, tomb 32 (probably), Thebes / Luxor.

Length 213 cm, width 77 cm.

The base board is rectangular, originally joined to the cover by mortise and tenon joints, decorated with a full-length representation of Nut, with laden fruit tree behind, shown with eight long tresses, in Greek style, and wearing a chaplet of red flowers, wearing a floral collar, necklace, chain with pendants and snake-bracelets, with representations of Isis and Nephthys, in mourning, on each side of head, with a vertical register of hieroglyphs, containing an invocation to the goddess, down the centre of the body, traces of a black resinous substance adhere in places.

The interior of the vaulted cover is decorated with another representation of Nut, with hands raised above head, surrounded by the twelve signs of the zodiac, arranged anti-clockwise, and, on the left side, the twelve hours of the night and, on the right, the twelve hours of the day, and is inscribed in places.

Catalog: EA6705
Photo (left): Don Hitchcock 2015
Photo (right): © Trustees of the British Museum Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card with the display at the British Museum, http://www.britishmuseum.org/, © Trustees of the British Museum




Soter coffin
Roman Period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Soter


Coffin of Soter.

This shows the exterior of the coffin above.

Catalog: EA6705
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card with the display at the British Museum, © Trustees of the British Museum


Soter coffin
Roman Period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Gilded wooden falcon


Gilded wooden falcon from the lid of the coffin of Soter.

The statuette was placed in the centre of the lid, where a slot was cut to accommodate it.

Catalog: EA6705
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card with the display at the British Museum, © Trustees of the British Museum


Soter coffin
Roman Period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Figure of a hawk


The exterior is decorated with funerary deities and architectural motifs. A gilded and painted wooden figure of a hawk, crowned with solar disc, which would have surmounted the lid, also survives, as shown above. The slot in the centre of the lid which accepted the hawk may be seen in this photograph.

Catalog: EA6705
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card with the display at the British Museum, © Trustees of the British Museum




Tphous
Roman Period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Tphous


Base board and vaulted cover of the sycomore fig wood coffin of Tphous, daughter of Heraclius Soter and Serapous, from Sheikh Abd el-Qurna, Thebes / Luxor, dated to the Roman Period, circa 100 - 120 AD, probably from Tomb 32.

The base board is rectangular and there are four corner posts. The gable ends are decorated with painted scarabs and winged solar discs with rearing uraei (serpents), with registers of hieroglyphs and one panel of Greek inscription, the latter records that Tphous died aged 6 years, 8 months and 2 days in the reign of Hadrian, and was interred in the family tomb some 10 months later.


On each side of the coffin the dead girl, accompanied by Anubis, is shown in the presence of Osiris with, on one side, the Apis bull and Ra-Horakhty and, on the other, two of the Sons of Horus, behind.

Below a solar barque is towed by three jackals, joined by a snake. The rest of the surface is decorated with funerary deities, inscriptions and other decorative motifs.

Catalog: EA6708
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card with the display at the British Museum, http://www.britishmuseum.org/, © Trustees of the British Museum




Soter family
Roman Period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Soter and his family


The burials of Soter and his family.

Soter was an archon (high official) at Thebes / Luxor, and he and his family were probably of Greek origin. They lived during the reigns of the Roman emperors Trajan and Hadrian.

The coffins, mummies and funerary papyri of the Soter family were discovered about 1818 - 1820 by Antonio Lebolo. They had probably been buried in Theban tomb 32, originally made for a man named Djehutymose in the reign of Ramesses II. The group comprised the burials of at least three generations of the Soter family. A complete list cannot be established because the coffins, mummies and papyri were dispersed around the world before being documented. The coffin of Soter himself is on display in case 21.

All the wooden coffins are rectangular, with vaulted tops and a post at each corner. The interiors are decorated with large depictions of godesses and signs of the zodiac. The inscriptions, in hieroglyphic and Greek, give general genealogical information about the owners and sometimes precise dates of birth and death, or ages at death. The dated deaths fall between AD 109 and AD 146. The mummies were heavily wrapped and provided with painted outer shrouds and funerary papyri were inserted intot the wrappings.

Photo: Poster, British Museum
Rephotography: Don Hitchcock 2015
Text: Poster, British Museum © Trustees of the British Museum
Diagram on poster: after Kákosy (1995)




Cleopatra Cleopatra
Roman Period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Daughter of Candace, named Cleopatra


Polychrome painted wooden base-board and vaulted cover of the coffin of the daughter of Candace, Cleopatra, who died at the age of eleven years, decorated and inscribed. Candace is known to have been the wife of Soter.

Roman Period, circa 100 - 120 AD, from Sheikh Abd el-Qurna, probably tomb 32, Thebes / Luxor.

The base-board is rectangular and decorated with with a full-length representation of Nut with stylised tree behind, Nut's shoulders are flanked by representations of Isis and Nephthys in mourning, each with a standing female attendant or funerary deity, who holds a crown aloft.

Couchant jackals, seated upon shrines, are shown on either side of Nut's feet, and a large deposit of black resin, with scraps of linen adhering, marks the outline of the mummy, now displayed elsewhere.

The lid is vaulted with four corner posts and gable sections decorated in a pseudo-architectural style. The interior is also decorated with a representation of Nut, surrounded by the twelve signs of the zodiac arranged clockwise with, on the left side, the twelve hours of the day and, on the right the twelve hours of the night. The exterior is decorated with registers of polychrome painted funerary deities and other decorative motifs.


Length 1845 mm (baseboard), width 750 mm (baseboard), height 100 mm (baseboard), length: 1780 mm (lid), width 660 mm (lid), height 680 mm (lid), height: 700 mm (combined lid and baseboard)

Catalog: EA6706
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card with the display at the British Museum, http://www.britishmuseum.org/, © Trustees of the British Museum




Soter coffin
Roman period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Daughter of Candace, named Cleopatra

The exterior is decorated with typical Egyptian scenes, including the weighing of the heart before Osiris, and guardian-deities of the gates of the underworld. The interior decoration is similar to that of the coffin of Soter. A large figure of the goddess Nut occupies the centre, with radiating sun disc and the sun-god as falcon above her head, and the Apis bull at her feet.

Catalog: EA6706
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card with the display at the British Museum, © Trustees of the British Museum




Soter coffin
Roman period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Daughter of Candace, named Cleopatra

Goddesses personifying the hours of day and night are painted along the sides, and the spaces between these figures and that of Nut are occupied by the signs of the zodiac.

Catalog: EA6706
Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: Card with the display at the British Museum, © Trustees of the British Museum




Egypt Egypt
Roman period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Mummy of a boy

The images on the body show that the artist was not skilled in traditional Egyptian art.

Mummy, linen, plaster; location Oxyrynchus (?) ca 0 - 100 AD. Roman Imperial Period.


This mummy, a teenager from el-Behnasa near the oasis Fayoem, bears all the traditional elements of decoration. But certain elements of it show that these were no longer properly understood. Even the bad proportions of the painted figures and fake hieroglyphs give the impression of an extinct culture. Only the survival of the ancient religion kept these forms alive. Soon the rise of Christianity helped to put it to an end.

This mummy shows us a final flowering of the entire repertoire of Egyptian funerary art. Unfortunately, the origin of this piece is not known with certainty. According to the sellers the mummy came from just south of Fayoem at el-Behnasa. In Roman times, this was the thriving county town of Oxyrhynchos, named after a species of fish of the Nile River which was important in Egyptian mythology as the fish that ate the penis of Osiris. Of the city itself, with its pillar lined main streets, numerous temples (but also two Christian churches and a synagogue), theatre, gymnasium and badge building there is now almost nothing left. The tomb buildings of the notables of the city, were mausoleums whose walls were adorned with almost life-size statues of the deceased have been lost due to vandalism and modern construction. Only the loose grave images can still be found in many museum collections.

Excavations in the ruins of the city by the English archaeologists Grenfell and Hunt between 1897 and 1907 led to thousands of papyrus fragments to light. As a result, we can despite all the devastation still obtain a very good picture of life in the Romano-Egyptian city.

Although Egypt had been ruled at the time for about five hundred years by the Greeks and Romans, still the majority of the urban population regarded themselves as pure Egyptian. Only the elite of the city was Greek or Roman, even if their way of life is not substantially different from that of the native population. This way of life was characterised by a subtle blending of Egyptian and Hellenistic elements. In addition to the Greek Zeus and the Roman Jupiter the Egyptian Serapis was also worshiped in the temples of the city. Especially in the funeral rites, many ancient traditions were still maintained.

According to radiological examination this is the mummy of a child aged from 13 to 15 years old. The mummy is entirely wrapped in resin soaked linen. Over the face is a mask strapped with linen bands. The mask consists of several layers of linen with stucco, in which the face and hands are moulded in relief. Over the abdomen is a large piece of linen, while the legs and feet are packed in some loose pieces. The entire surface is painted with traditional Egyptian motifs. The face, which is severely damaged, was pink in colour. Around the back is a pattern of large wings showing that the head is protected. Furthermore, the head and upper body are presented as if they were shrouded in a cloak. The embossed pink hands come out from its folds. In the right hand, the dead holds a twig, or possibly a bunch of emmer wheat, a well-known symbol of the promise of life after death. The left hand holds a folded flower garland, which expresses the hope that the dead will be declared righteous in the Judgement of the Dead by the gods of the afterlife.

The rest of the decoration is arranged in horizontal sections, which are separated from each other by bands of coloured blocks. On either side of the head kneel the goddesses Isis and Nephthys, while the jackal god Anubis is seated behind. Protecting the neck are two falcon figures, with behind each on the one hand is the god Osiris, on the other is Anubis. On the chest can be seen Anubis watching over a painted representation of the mummy, in a stereotypical manner. Strangely, the mummy lies in a boat with high arched bow and stern, which itself stands on a bier in the form of a standing lion. Below some Canopic jars are seen (which were no longer used at this time). On the far left is a god with a falcon, and on the right a mummy with the head of Qebehsenuef, the Son of Horus. In the preparation of mummies, his canopic jar was used for the intestines. Under the left arm of the boy is a sphinx with a falcon's head, a god figure that we see more often depicted in the art of this time. The belly of the dead is protected by two falcons standing under a sky with stars, probably representations of the sun god Re-Harakhty.

The panel below shows a woman's figure offering a sacrifice of incense to the gods Osiris and Anubis. Perhaps this woman is the deceased himself, even though the skeletal remains appear to be rather that of a boy. The alternative is to see this figure as Isis. Two sphinxes repelling evil lie underneath, while these panels are framed around by djed pillars. The feet are in painted sandals, between which a key of life, an ankh, is shown. On the soles is an ornamental bow, with the crown of Isis between grid patterns. Ties with ornamental rosettes and striped friezes keep these components in place.

Ostensibly here there is still a complete mastery of the Egyptian funerary symbolism. However, details such as the boat on the bier, or unidentifiable genii, betray the lack of genuine understanding. Noteworthy also are the bad proportions of the various figures and text panels written with fake hieroglyphics in various scenes. Egyptian art was at this time dying. Only the survival of the ancient religious beliefs justified its survival in a changing society, until the spread of Christianity ended it completely.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2014
Source: Original, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden.
Additional text: http://www.rmo.nl/onderwijs/museumkennis/verhalen/mummie-uit-de-romeinse-tijd




Coffin
Roman period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Coffin

Coffin of wood and a mummy cover of wood and plaster, circa 50 AD, possibly from Faijum.

Catalog: Faijum? Ägyptisches museum, Inv. No VAGM 1983/16
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Neues Museum, Germany
Text: © Card at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin/




Coffin Coffin



Roman period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Coffin

Closeup of the head of the sarcophagus.

Catalog: Faijum? Ägyptisches museum, Inv. No VAGM 1983/16
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Neues Museum, Germany
Text: © Card at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin




Coffin



Coffin



Roman period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Coffin

Original label in the museum:

Sarkophag Sarcophagus

Sarg mit der Darstellung des ägyptischen Jenseit gerichte und Mumienhülle Holz,
Gips; um 50 n. Chr; Faijum ? (ET); Ägyptisches Museum, Inv.-Nr. VAGM 1983/16
Erworben vom Verein zur Förderung des Ägyptischen Museums e.V.

Catalog: Faijum? Ägyptisches museum, Inv. No VAGM 1983/16
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Neues Museum, Germany
Text: © Card at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin




Coffin Coffin
Roman period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Coffin

Head and Foot of the Coffin

Catalog: Faijum? Ägyptisches museum, Inv. No VAGM 1983/16
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Neues Museum, Germany
Text: © Card at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin




Coptic relief panel
Roman period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Relief panel

Fruit basket on its side, with scrollwork, 1st - 2nd centuries AD.

Catalog: Bone, ÄS 5934
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source and text: Ägyptischen Museum München




Roman relief panel
Roman period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Relief panel

Relief panel showing part of a bucolic scene: a man with shepherd's crook, over a basket of fruit, 1st - 2nd centuries AD.

Catalog: Bone, ÄS 2043
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source and text: Ägyptischen Museum München




Egypt
Roman period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Mummy of an unknown man

A Portrait is painted on the shroud.

Mummy, linen, location Thebes / Luxor, ca 200-250 AD. Roman Imperial Period.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2014
Source: Original, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden.




painted mummy in shroud
Roman period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Mummy of a male child

Mummy of a male child, in a painted linen shroud and wooden coffin.

Roman Period, circa 230 AD - 250 AD. Provenance unknown.

Catalog: EA6715
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: http://www.britishmuseum.org/, card with the display at the British Museum, © Trustees of the British Museum




painted mummy in shroud snake coffin
Roman period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Mummy of a male child

The mummy in its shroud was contained in a painted wooden coffin, consisting of a flat base-board, with a raised edge, which is decorated with a painted representation of Nut, on a white ground; the convex lid is decorated with a painted representation of a snake and a floral garland on a white ground with red edges and sides.

Skull - No obvious fractures. The cervical spine appears intact.

Thorax and Abdomen - These cavities appear empty. The ribs, spinal column, pelvis, and hips are normal. No fractures or dislocations. The intervertebral discs, especially the lumbar, are partially opaque. The whole of the body surface shows a flecked appearance, probably due to particles of sand in the resinous covering.

Arms - Extended. Hands, with fingers extended, the palmar surfaces in contact with the outer aspect of the thighs.

Legs - Menisci opaque. Bones appear normal. No lines of arrested growth. Wrapped in a linen shroud bearing tempera representation of the deceased in Graeco-Roman costume, wearing white sandals and holding a bunch of laurel leaves in his left hand, right hand raised, hair painted red with white spots, the meaning of the four black marks on the forehead is unknown.

The mummy is wrapped in a shroud on which is depicted the boy wearing a tunic, mantle and slippers, and holding a sprig of myrtle. A wreath of rosebuds is worn on the head. CAT scans of the mummy suggest an age at death of 8 to 10 years.

( one can't help but wonder if the boy had been killed by a snake, possibly the Egyptian Cobra, which is known to enter houses on occasion. The four black marks on the boy's head painted on the shroud could then be interpreted as the marks of snakebite - Don )

Catalog: EA6715
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: http://www.britishmuseum.org/, card with the display at the British Museum, © Trustees of the British Museum




img_2451marblezodiacsm
Roman period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Signs of the zodiac

Depiction of the signs of the zodiac, 2nd century AD.

Catalog: Marble, SK 1050
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Neues Museum, Germany
Text: © Card at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 DE)




img_2455starssm.jpg
Roman period: 30 BC - 395 AD (disputed, may be Ptolemaic)

Berlin celestial globe (fragment)

Although of unknown provenance, similar astronomical devices would be expected in Roman times in Egypt, notably predated by the astronomical model of the universe, powered by water, of Ctesibius, a Greek inventor and mathematician in Alexandria, in Ptolemaic Egypt.

Size: 75 x 320 x 150 mm.

From left to right the constellations Cassiopeia, Schwan, Lyra and in part Hercules are preserved. One interpretation is that the wide line through the wing of the Swan may indicate the Milky Way. However, see below for a more likely explanation. The constellations were originally in colour.


Kühne (1987) concludes that the fragment dates to the Hellenistic period, 3rd-century BC, as well as the following:

The fragment SK 1050 a in the Neues Museum in Berlin has been interpreted as being part of an ancient vessel garnished with arbitrary astronomical ornaments. The fragment was in fact part of a sophisticated astronomical instrument:

(1) Structures of the fragment indicate that the celestial globe was fitted with a water-clock similar to the design by Ctesibius and that this water-clock propelled an astronomical model of the universe. Ctesibius was a Greek engineer, inventor, and mathematician in Alexandria, in Ptolemaic Egypt, active between 285 BC – 222 BC.

(2) Iconographic parallels between SK1050A and the Atlas Farnese suggest that the latter was intended to be a replica of the Berlin celestial globe. The word 'Atlas' now refers to any set of maps of the globe, and this usage is ultimately derived from the Atlas Farnese sculpture.

(3) The arrangement of the ‘star-markings’ on SK1050A might be explained as geometrical constructions to establish spherical coordinate transformations.

In consequence, SK1050A appears to be the product of a profound astronomer while some evidence beyond that prompts the hypothesis that the fragment is from the celestial globe of Archimedes.

Catalog: Marble, SK 1050 a
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, blue marble, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Neues Museum, Germany
Text: © Card at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, http://www.smb-digital.de/, (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 DE)
Additional text: http://members.westnet.com.au/gary-david-thompson/page11-16.html, Wikipedia.com




Egypt
Roman period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Pasheryentaihet

Mummy of Pasheryentaihet

All limbs are individually wrapped, the bandages imitate clothes. Also unique are the painted decorative bands.

Mummy, linen; site Thebes / Luxor; 200-300 AD. Roman Imperial Period

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2014
Source: Original, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden.




Egypt
Roman period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Mummy with a golden face mask



The use of gold was connected to the belief that the sun god Re, with whom the mummy hoped to be united, had flesh of pure gold.

The mask was created from layers of wet linen gummed together, usually shaped over a mould and then given a thin outer coating of plaster. Once it had hardened, it could then be gilded or painted.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2014
Source: Original, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden.
Text: http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/aes/g/gilded_cartonnage_mummy_mask.aspx, © Trustees of the British Museum




less expensive burial
Roman period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Less expensive coffin

This is an interesting burial, one which mimics the form of the magnificent burials that have been detailed above, but one which was obviously not nearly so expensive, nor so steeped in tradition.

The outward forms of the ceremonial coffins are there, but the substance shows that either there was either insufficient wealth to create the traditional coffins of the elite, or that the traditions had already been largely forgotten, and perhaps the burial is from the end of the reign of the pharoahs.

The paintings on the coffins mimic the complex hieroglyphics of the more expensive coffins, but there is no substance to them, they are decorations only.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2014
Source: Original, Ägyptische Museum der Universität Bonn




less expensive burial
Roman period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Less expensive coffin

The carving of the face is workmanlike, but the painting and finish of the casket is of inferior quality.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2014
Source: Original, Ägyptische Museum der Universität Bonn




less expensive burial
Roman period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Less expensive coffin

Here we can see that the complex hieroglyphics of the elite are reduced to a few daubs of colour.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2014
Source: Original, Ägyptische Museum der Universität Bonn




less expensive burial
Roman period: 30 BC - 395 AD

Less expensive coffin

The casket is made from planks of wood joined together, a much cheaper method than carving the entire coffin from the trunk of a single tree, which is the method used for many of the more expensive funerals.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2014
Source: Original, Ägyptische Museum der Universität Bonn










Animal Mummies



Animal mummy

The crocodile was regarded as an extremely fierce animal, often used to terrify enemies during war.


The crocodile cult was devoted to Sebek, god of fertility, and the sun god, Re. Typically, crocodiles were raised in a life of complete luxury, indulged until they died. In the early years of this cult, dead crocodiles were lavishly mummified with gold and other precious things.

However, as mummification gradually became a production process, less effort was exerted in their mummification and eventually consisted simply of cloth wrappings and the application of resin, a preserving agent. When found in extremely large quantities, crocodile mummies, like many other sorts of animal offerings, contained only reeds or random body parts. At the main temple of Shedet, later called Crocodilopolis, sacred crocodiles were mummified and displayed in temple shrines or carried in processions.

Location unknown, 300-200 BC, Ptolemaic Dynasty. 314 cm long.

When X-rayed, the mummy was actually of two small crocodiles.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2014
Source: Original, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden.
Additional text: Wikipedia
X-ray information: http://www.anp-archief.nl/page/80591/nl


Animal mummies
A group of animal mummies, including dogs and cats.

The first large animal on the left is the mummy of a baboon.

Baboon: 380-30 BC., 530 x 260 x 535 mm, AMM 15

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2014
Source: Original, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden.




baboon mummy
This is an xray of the mummified baboon in the image above.

Photo: Rijksmuseum van Oudheden
Permission: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licence.




cat mummy
Cat mummy, and a box for a cat mummy at its feet.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2014
Source: Original, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden.




 mummy of a falcon
Mummy of a falcon in a painted cartonnage case, originally enclosed in a sandstone shrine, Roman Period, after 30 BC. Provenance unknown.

Catalog: EA49734
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: http://www.britishmuseum.org/, card with the display at the British Museum, © Trustees of the British Museum




 mummy of a falcon
The British Museum site describes this as a mummy-case containing a mummified hawk wrapped in linen from the Roman Period.

Catalog: EA49734
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: http://www.britishmuseum.org/, card with the display at the British Museum, © Trustees of the British Museum




 mummy of a falcon
The mummy of the bird, length 375 mm.

Catalog: EA49734
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: http://www.britishmuseum.org/, card with the display at the British Museum, © Trustees of the British Museum




 mummy of a falcon
Sandstone shrine in which the mummy of the bird and its case were found.

Height 450 mm, width 207 mm, length 180 mm.

Catalog: EA49734
Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Original, British Museum
Text: http://www.britishmuseum.org/, card with the display at the British Museum, © Trustees of the British Museum




dog mummy
Dog mummy. The dog was only a young animal when it either died or was killed to make a mummy out of it.

0-200 AD, Roman Imperial Period.

Dogs were used as domestic pets, guardians, herders, and police assistants. Several dog breeds could be found in ancient Egypt, the most popular being the greyhound, basenji, and saluki, all very good for hunting. From the First Dynasty, Egyptians venerated several jackal deities, with the most prominent one being Anubis. He was represented as a canine or a canine headed human.


Traditionally, Anubis has been identified as a jackal, but its generally black colouring, symbolic of the afterlife and rebirth, is not typical of jackals and may instead denote a wild dog. Because dogs and jackals roamed the desert's edge, where the dead were generally buried, they were seen as protectors of cemeteries.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2014
Source: Original, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden.
Additional text: Wikipedia




fish mummy
These fish mummies were placed in fish shaped receptacles, possibly because they were not a very good subject for mummification. Fish were mummified in mass quantities as offerings to the gods. They were wrapped in linen and held together by bands of cloth soaked in sticky resin, permanently encasing the mummies. Many times, black circles representing the eyes were painted on the hardened linen. Several species of fish have been identified, but due to the deteriorating condition of the mummies, scientists are unable to conclude if the organs were typically removed during the process of mummification.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2014
Source: Original, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden.
Text: Wikipedia




fish mummy
Falcon: The conical body tapers towards a pointed caudal end with dummy feet. The head is well modelled and the face covered by a cartonnage mask moulded in gesso over coarse linen; the linen is visible through damaged spots at the right eyebrow, the bill (where the gesso is completely missing), and the throat. The mask is cream-coloured with details in black (irises, markings around the eyes) and red (details of the bill, rims of the eyes, dotted line on the throat, swastikas on the jaws).

The mask is surrounded by the striated lappets (decorative flap or fold in a ceremonial headdress) of a divine wig made of doubled strips of linen, alternating natural and dark brown; the back of the wig is lost and instead the head is covered by a crumpled layer of plain linen. There are remains of horizontal strips of linen under the throat.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2014
Source: Original, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden.
Text: http://www.rmo.nl/collectie/zoeken?object=F+1975%2F11.3


falcon mummy

Otherwise the body is wrapped in a single sheet of medium-fine natural linen (warp-faced tabby weave, about 12 x 28 threads/cm2) which shows a join along the centre of the back and over the soles of the dummy feet. The upper body, however, is much damaged and shows the irregular layers of interior wrappings of similar quality (partly added during a modern restoration, fixed by numerous concentric windings of thin yarn). There are several black and dark brown stains and some shiny patches on the exterior sheet.

95 x 520 x 81 mm

Photo and text: http://www.rmo.nl/collectie/zoeken?object=F+1975%2F11.3




cat mummy cat mummy
This wooden cat figure serves as a sheath for the mummy of a cat. To this end, it is manufactured in two parts and hollowed out on the inside. The mummy is still in it.

The cavity is open at the bottom and is closed by placing the figure on a pedestal This base has a form of the hieroglyph 'protection', which is often a sign associated with cats. The base and pedestal are covered with stucco and painted. Around the neck is a necklace with a picture of an amulet of the protective eye (wedjat). On top of the head a scarab is painted between the ears. Everything indicates that this cat was embalmed and buried with great care.

Height: 41 cm, late period or Ptolemaic.

Photo (left): Don Hitchcock 2014
Photo (right): https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/asset-viewer/holder-for-a-cat-mummy/tgHi0pLW5_LIrg?projectId=art-project
Source: Original, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden.
Text: http://www.rmo.nl/onderwijs/museumkennis/verhalen/kattensarcofaag-en--mummie









References

  1. Harer W., 1985: Pharmacological and Biological Properties of the Egyptian Lotus, Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, Vol. 22 (1985), pp. 49-54 Published by: American Research Center in Egypt DOI: 10.2307/40000390
  2. Kákosy L., 1995: 'The Soter Tomb in Thebes', in S.P, Vleeming (ed.), Hundred-Gated Thebes: Acts of a Colloqium on Thebes and the Theban area in the Graeco-Roman Period, Leiden: Brill, 61- 67
  3. Kühne L., 1987: 'Evidence for a new interpretation of the Berlin Celestial Globe fragment SK1050A, http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/8814/1/SK1050A_100.pdf, Balliol.org
  4. Martin G., 1991: Hidden Tombs of Memphis, Thames and Hudson, London 1991
  5. Maspero G., 1903: History of Egypt, Chaldea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, London : Grolier Society
  6. Pommerening, T., Marinova, E., Hendrickx, S., 2010: The Early Dynastic origin of the water-lily motif, Chronique d’Egypte, 85 (2010): 14-40
  7. Raven M., 1980: Papyrus-sheaths and Ptah-Sokar-Osiris Statues, RMO, 1980 - 296 pages
  8. Riggs C., 2006: The Beautiful Burial in Roman Egypt: Art, Identity, and Funerary Religion, OUP Oxford, 5 Jan. 2006 - History - 336 pages
  9. Strudwick N., 2006: Masterpieces of Ancient Egypt, University of Texas Press, 1 Nov. 2006 - Social Science - 352 pages
  10. Taylor J., 2010: Journey Through the Afterlife: Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, Harvard University Press, 2010 - History - 320 pages



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