mummy-wrapping / mummy-portrait / human mummy
Mummy of a young adult man with wooden portrait panel in tempera. The portrait represents a beardless young man with curly black hair and thick eyebrows, dressed in a white tunic and mantle with a pink 'clavus' visible at the left. The painter has taken care to create shading effects on the skin, using individual brush-strokes. The image appears to reflect the true age of the deceased. The mummy is wrapped in layers of cloth. Although it now appears rather plain, the portrait may originally have been set within a stuccoed and gilded outer surface, of which only small fragments now survive. There is no inscription to identify the deceased.
Skull - Mouth slightly open. No fractures. The cervical spine appears to be intact.
Thorax and Abdomen - These cavities appear to be empty. There is an opacity on the right of the lower dorsal vertebrae which might represent an ablated heart. No obvious fractures of ribs, spinal column, pelvis, or hips.
Arms - Extended. Hands with extended fingers, the palm upon the outer aspect of the thighs.
Legs - Appear normal. No lines of arrested growth. The shell of a small bivalve mollusc is adjacent to the mid-shaft of the right tibia.
- 140-180 (circa)
- Found/Acquired: Thebes (?)
- (Africa,Egypt,Upper Egypt,Thebes (Upper Egypt - archaic))
- Length: 151 centimetres (mummy)
- Width: 39 centimetres
- Length: 38 centimetres (panel)
S. Walker and M. Bierbrier, 'Fayum. Misteriosi volti dall'Egitto' (London, 1997), p. 140 .
Filer in M. L Bierbrier (ed.), 'Portraits and masks : burial customs in Roman Egypt', (London, 1997), p.122 [pls.44.1,2].
'Portraits de l’Egypte romaine : Paris, Musée du Louvre, 5 octobre 1998, 4 janvier 1999' [exhibition catalogue] (Paris, 1998), pp.90-91 ;
K. Parlasca, 'Ritratti di Mummie'. In A. Adriani (ed.), 'Repertorio d'arte dell'Egitto greco-romano'. 2 ser. II (1977), 87, Tav 116, 1 (477);
J.H. Taylor and N.C. Strudwick, Mummies: Death and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt. Treasures from The British Museum, Santa Ana and London 2005, pp. 78-9, pl. on pp. 78-9.
1997 15 Oct-1998 30 Apr, Italy, Rome, Fondazione Memmo, Ancient Faces
2005-2008, California, The Bowers Museum, Death and Afterlife in Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt & Sudan
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Object reference number: YCA50664
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