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human remains

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Body of an adult female in a flexed position Skull - Long brown hair present on the scalp. There is a grossly comminuted fracture of the skull. Thorax and Abdomen - Gross fractures (post mortem) of nearly all the bones are visible, but in other respects the bones appear healthy. No spinal arthritis. The intervertebral discs appear normal. Arms - The hands (the right hand being separated at the wrist) are in the region of the skull. Legs - The left leg is separated at mid-femoral shaft. No lines of arrested growth are visible.


  • Culture/period

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 151 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    W Peck in Cockburn & Cockburn (eds), Mummies, Disease and Ancient Cultures (Cambridge 1980), 13, fig. 1.2.
    S. Walker and M. Bierbrier, 'Fayum. Misteriosi volti dall'Egitto', (London, 1997), p.36 [1];
    A. Shimbun (ed.), 'Art and afterlife in Ancient Egypt : from the British Museum' (Japan 1999-2000), No 52.Publication on conservation:

    C. Johnson and B. Wills, 'The conservation of two pre-dynastic Egyptian bodies' in S.C. Watkins and C.E. Brown (eds.), Conservation of Ancient Egyptian materials (London, United Kingdom Institute for Conservation (UKIC), Archaeology Section, 1988)

    A. Rae, 'Dry human and animal remains - their treatment at the British Museum' in K. Spindler et al. (eds.), Human mummies: a global survey of their status and the techniques of conservation, vol. 3: The man in the ice (Wien, Springer, 1996), pp. 33-38


  • Bibliography

    • Dawson & Gray 1968 2 bibliographic details
  • Exhibition history


    1997 15 Oct-1998 30 Apr, Italy, Rome, Fondazione Memmo, Ancient Faces
    2001 26 Jun-23 Sep, Birmingham Gas Hall, Egypt Revealed

  • Condition


  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    24 April 2001

    Reason for treatment


    Treatment proposal

    Check all surfaces and areas. Secure loose finger.


    Middle finger on right hand loose. Right arm slightly mobile at junction of old break on upper arm. Areas of cracked and loose skin, especially on underside of body near exposed rib, which is loose though not detached. Some locks of hair loose and detached.

    Treatment details

    Secured finger using a pulp of Japanese kozo (mulberry fibre) paper, previously painted with Rowney's Cryla colours (acrylic) to match colours, moistened with approx 20% HMG heatproof and waterproof adhesive (cellulose nitrate) in acetone, inserted into place and allowed to set in position. Similarly secured loose rib beneath body, also backing it with small sheets of Jap paper to further hold in place. Smaller loose pieces of skin were secured with a pulp of Jap paper moistened with approx 15% Klucel G (hydroxypropyl cellulose) in 50/50 Industrial methylated spirits (ethanol,methanol)/distilled water. The mobile right arm was secured first by inserting wedges and strips of Plastazote (polyethylene) until there was only very slight movement. Coloured Jap paper was pasted over the top with Klucel G (hydroxypropyl cellulose) as above to help hold in place and to hide the white of the Plastazote (polyethylene). Locks of hair were held in place with Klucel G (hydroxypropyl cellulose)-moistened Jap kozo paper inserted beneath.

    About these records 

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number


  • Registration number



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Object reference number: YCA54504

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