Ancient Egypt Case Contents
Marble canopic jar; human headed ape, wolf, owl.
During mummification, a dead person’s organs were embalmed separately from the body, and from about 2,000 BC were stored in stone or pottery containers called canopic jars. The organs in the jars were guarded by four gods known as the Sons of Horus who appear on the lids.
Cat embalmed in linen cloth.
Many cats were mummified at the city of Bubastis, the centre of worship of the cat goddess and buried in cat cemeteries. To mummify a cat, the embalmers removed its insides and filled the cavity with earth or sand. They then wrapped it in bandages soaked in natron (salt) or resin. The cat’s front legs were laid by its side, and its back legs tucked up against its tummy.
A steatite stone scarab.
The scarab beetle was often carved on top of stamp seals. The underside could include names, titles, or other important information that the owner could stamp on clay or papyrus.
Shabtis were included in Egyptian burials to work for the tomb owner in the afterlife. They were believed by the Ancient Egyptians to spring to life and do all the hard work for the dead in their heaven, the Kingdom of Osiris. This particular Shabti has been finished with green faience.
Staff head with Ibis and Snake
This head of a military standard was found during digging of docks for Nelson’s fleet at the Battle of the Nile in 1798. Standards identified particular branches of the Egyptian army and were readily visible to help rally troops.
Statuette head, depicting Osiris.
A small painted bronze head of Osiris wearing the white crown of Upper Egypt. This conical shaped headpiece was worn as early as 3000BC. The White Crown may actually have been green because it is believed to be have been made from reeds.
Small specimen of bath towelling cloth/mummy cloth
Hundreds of metres of linen were used to wrap a mummy. It didn’t just come in bandage-like strips, but shrouds, large sheets that covered the body like a cape. Bandages were wrapped very tight to maintain the mummies distinctive shape, and brushed with a sticky resin to stick them together.
Egyptian ceramic vessel
Stone lidded pots for storing kohl or galena eye-paint. Several found in an early New Kingdom shaft tomb of about 1550–1450 BC (Y66) near Abydos by William Matthew Flinders Petrie (1853–1942).