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was also preserved in “white honey which had not been
melted.” 1 Bodies The bodies of the poor were preserved by two very cheap preserved methods; one method consisted of soaking in salt and hot
bitumen, and the other in salt only. In the first process every only,
cavity was filled with bitumen, and the hair disappeared ; clearly it is to the bodies which were preserved in this way that the name “mummy” or bitumen was first applied. The salted and dried body is easily distinguishable. The skin is like paper, the features and hair have disappeared, and the
bones are very white and brittle. Oldest The oldest mummy in the world about the date of which mummy in the
there is no doubt, is that of Seker-em-sa-f, a son of Pepi I. world. and elder brother of Pepi II., B.C. 3200, which was found at
Şakkârah in 1881, and which is now at Gizeh. The lower jaw is wanting, and one of the legs has been dislocated in transport; the features are well preserved, and on the right side of the head is the lock of hair emblematic of youth. An examination of the body shows that Seker-em-sa-f died very young. A number of bandages found in the chamber of his pyramid at Şaļķârah are similar to those in use at a later date, and the mummy proves that the art of embalming had arrived at a very high pitch of perfection already in the Ancient Empire. The fragments of a body which were found by Colonel Howard Vyse in the pyramid of Mycerinus at Gîzeh, are thought by some to belong to a much later period than that of this king ; there appears to be, however, no evidence for this belief, and as they belong to a man, and not to a woman, as Vyse thought, they may quite easily be the remains of the mummy of Mycerinus. The skeletons found in sarcophagi belonging to the first six dynasties fall to dust when air is admitted to them, and they emit a slight smell of
bitumen. Character. Mummies of the XIth dynasty are usually very poorly istics of
made; they are yellowish in colour, brittle to the touch, and mummies of different fall to pieces very easily. The limbs are rarely bandaged periods.
separately, and the body having been wrapped carelessly in a
'Budge, History of Alexander the Great, p. 141.
Maspero, Guide du Visiteur au Musée de Boulaq, 1883, p. 347.
number of folded cloths, is covered over lengthwise by one
Characteristics of mummies of different periods.
reached its highest point, and the ornamentation of the car
tonnage shows the influence of the art of Greece upon that of Egypt. The head of the mummy is put into a mask, gilded or painted in bright colours, the cartonnage fits the body very closely, and the feet are protected by a sheath. A large number of figures of the gods and of amulets are found on the
mummy itself, and many things which formed its private pro-.
perty when alive were buried with it. Towards the time of
Character. the Ptolemies, mummies become black and heavy; bandages istics of mummies
and body are made by the bitumen into one solid mass, of different which can only be properly examined by the aid of a hatchet. periods.
Such mummies are often wrapped in coverings inscribed with scenes and texts, copied, without any knowledge of their meaning, by an artist who altered them to suit his own fancy or purpose.
About B.C. 100 mummies were very carefully bandaged ; each limb was treated separately, and retained its natural shape after bandaging, and the features of the face, somewhat blunted, are to be distinguished beneath the bandages.
About A.D. 50 the desire on the part of relatives and friends to see the face of the deceased resulted in the insertion of a piece of wood, painted with his portrait, over the face of the dead man. The mummies, from this time on to the fourth century, are of little interest, for they become mere bundles ; scenes were painted, athwart and along the bodies, in which the deceased is represented adoring ill-shaped Egyptian deities; but little by little the hieroglyphic inscriptions disappear, and finally those in Greek take their place.
A remarkable example of a very late Græco-Roman mummy, mummies. probably of the fourth century A.D., is British Museum
No. 21,810. The body is enveloped in a number of