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Bronze relic-box for a mummified eel

From Egypt Ptolemaic Period, 332-30 BC

 

Length: 29.800 cm
Height: 14.600 cm

EA 36151

Ancient Egypt and Sudan

    Bronze relic-box for a mummified eel

    From Egypt
    Ptolemaic Period, 332-30 BC

    In ancient Egypt, the smaller mummified animals and birds were placed inside bronze boxes, on top of which a three-dimensional image of the creature was often mounted. The image on the top of this box represents an eel with the forepart of a uraeus-serpent, and a human head wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt.

    The eel was associated with the god Atum of Heliopolis, one of the oldest Egyptian deities, and attributed with the creation of the world. Eels and snakes were mummified and offered to Atum in the temples, to be subsequently buried in the associated cemeteries.

    C.A.R. Andrews, Egyptian mummies (London, The British Museum Press, 1984)

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    Mummy pencil tin, Seshepenmehit, £4.99

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