Golden Mummies : Mummified body of a woman

Golden Mummies

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Mummified body of a woman called Isaious. The name of the lady is written in Greek at the top of the cartonnage mask and was previously interpreted as Demetria. A more recent reading has instead suggested: ‘Isaious (or Isarous) daughter of Demetrios’ (Ἰσαι̣οῦς Δημη[τρίου]). The face and upper part of the head of the mask were found damaged upon discovery and have been restored in the early Twentieth Century by staff at Manchester Museum.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'></p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The gilded mask shows the deceased with a Roman hairstyle and jewellery, but is surrounded on its back, sides and lower sections with pharaonic motifs. The unusually well-preserved outer shroud carries scenes of Egyptian gods and hieroglyphs. These include standard elements: the broad floral collar; the scene of the mummified body of a lion headed bed, tended by the jackal-headed deity Anubis (note that the canopic jars depicted beneath the bed are a complete fiction at this period, the practice of including them having died out centuries before); and finally a scene of ritual purification, where the deceased (shown in standard pharaonic style for an elite woman) is shown between the gods Thoth and Horus – a common motif for the Pharaoh on Graeco-Roman temples.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The cartonnage footcase shows the gilded toes, emerging from the wrappings – a sign of the divine status of the deceased. Underneath is a particularly well-preserved scene of two male figures, naked and bound – the enemies of the deceased being trampled.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>This mixture of Greek, Roman and Egyptian features are typical of multicultural expectations of the afterlife in Graeco-Roman Period Egypt.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The body was CT-scanned at Manchester Children's Hospital on 31/1/13.</p>

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