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Cartonnage case containing the mummy of Tjayasetimu

 

Length: 151.000 cm

EA 20744

On loan to

    Cartonnage case containing the mummy of Tjayasetimu

    From Thebes, Egypt
    22nd Dynasty, around 900 BC

    X-rays show that this mummy contains the body of a young girl aged about twelve. As part of the mummification process, her abdominal cavity was filled with granular packing material, which is probably sawdust mixed with sand. Within this may lie packages containing the body's internal organs, though these could not be detected on the X-rays.

    The mummy has been placed inside a cartonnage case designed for an adult; the top of the girl's head extends only as far as the level of the shoulders of the case. The left arm is flexed across the breast; the right, separately made from wood, was attached at the elbow and positioned as if held at the side of the body.

    The external surface of the cartonnage was painted with funerary texts and figures of deities with wings spread out over the body in gestures of protection. Most of this decoration has been obscured by a dense coating of resin. This may have been applied before the burial, perhaps as a libation (liquid offering). Over time it turned black and obscured the central inscription in which the young girl's name was recorded, though this has since been exposed through cleaning.

    W.R. Dawson and P.H.K. Gray, Catalogue of Egyptian antiquit (London, 1968)

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    Ancient Egyptian designs, £9.99

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