Explore / Articles
Conserving the body of a Predynastic Egyptian
The body of a Predynastic Egyptian man, probably from Gebelein, went on display in the British Museum in March 1900.
Some splitting of the skin covering the body was always evident, probably caused by contraction of the skin as it originally dried out. By the mid-1980s it had become apparent that some treatment would be desirable. In some areas the skin was badly cracked and lifting away from the underlying bone and tissue.
Human remains need to be conserved with particular care, so options for treatment were carefully considered. After cleaning and consolidation, the vulnerable areas of skin and hair were eased into their original positions and secured with an adhesive.
An improved mount was made to provide greater support for the head, which must originally have rested on an incline.