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Fitzwilliam
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Hrdlička Museum of Anthropology,
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This page contains images of human remains. Please click here to view a text only page.
Scroll down if you wish to view photographs of human remains, that is mummies, mummified
heads and human skulls.
Inv. No. 15/1
Human remains from Deir el-Medina dated to the 19th-20th dynasties
The mummified body of a female is displayed on the middle shelf of the cabinet in a stretched out position.
During the mummification process the body was coated with resin resulting in the surface of the skin being
black. Resin used to be applied to the surfaces to prevent bacterial activity and to exclude moisture
(Taylor,2001,84). Very few mummy wrappings are preserved on the body. The body lacks lower parts of
both upper limbs, only their tops remain. Some ribs in the lower rib cage area are missing. The head was
placed onto a wooden pole in the 20th century (Strouhal,1980,31). The features of the face are well
preserved. Hair, eye leashes and brows are well preserved and it seems that the woman suffered from a
birth defect in the form of a cleft lip (Matiegková,1929,253). From the top of the head down to heels the
body measures 159 cm. According to the anthropologists the woman died between 50-60 years of age.
Mummification was practiced in ancient Egypt from the 2nd half of the 4th millennium BC, when bodies
wrapped in linen with residue of resin, were found in the mid-Predynastic period cemetery of Hierakonpolis
(Taylor,2001,47) to the first centuries AD. The methods of the artificial preservation changed and
evolved over time, but the aim stayed the same - to prevent the corpse from decay and to preserve it
from destruction. Surviving funerary texts stress the importance of the physical body as a place for the
ka and the ba, to be reunited in the afterlife. The stages of preparing the deceased for the burial inside
the tomb took around 70 days. The process involved washing the body, removal of the brain and the
viscera, drying the body through the use of natron, packing the body cavities to provide support, anointing
and cosmetic treatments, wrapping the body in linen and providing the external additions in the form of
funerary masks and coffins.
The process of mummification made new advances during the New Kingdom thanks to prosperity and
stability. A wider range of materials from abroad also became available (resins and oils) due to contacts
with new places (Taylor,2001,83). Extraction of the brain and evisceration performed via the abdominal
incision were standard features of mummification, but the best techniques were reserved for the royalty
and the highest ranking members of the court, while the rest of the population had to be satisfied with
less elaborate procedures, sometimes reduced to just wrapping the dried body.
Complete mummified bodies
All 3 mummified bodies are displayed within the cabinet which is mainly devoted to the ancient Egyptian
human and animal remains and several other ancient Egyptian artefacts. The bodies are placed on the
shelves behind glass doors, which is why the photographs cannot be rendered into panoramas to display the
bodies in one image. The cabinet is placed within the Museum's second room.
The bodies and the body parts were part of the "Research in Ancient Egyptian Mummies" project,
conducted by Eugen Strouhal and Luboš Vyhnálek at the Radiological Clinic of the Charles University in
Prague between 1971-1973 (Strouhal,1980,5). Their research was based on the radiological examination,
the only method widely used at the time for non-invasive investigation of bodies covered in ancient
wrappings. The aim of the investigation was to collect medical and anthropological data on the bodies and
the body parts while not physically interfering with the remains. No objects still left on the bodies were
removed. The x-rays were obtained from a focus of 1 meter and in some instances a different exposure
was used to obtain clearer picture (Strouhal,1980,16). General external study of the remains accompanied
the project and the findings were compiled in a comprehensive catalogue of all known mummified remains in
the Czechoslovak collections of the time.  
According to Bruyère the bodies should have arrived in Prague in 3 original coffins but they could not be
located by the time the research was conducted during early 1970s and so they are presumed lost
(Strouhal,1980,28). If ever found the coffins might provide clues to the identity of the 3 individuals
described below.
Inv. No. 15/2
Human remains from Deir el-Medina dated to the 19th-20th dynasties
The mummified body of a male is displayed on the top shelf of the cabinet in a stretched out position.
The upper right arm rests alongside the body, but the hand and the forearm are missing. The left
forearm is placed over the hip with its hand directed to cover the genital area. The head is slightly
turned to the left. The hair is preserved. The bandages made of woven linen are preserved on the arms
and the lower limbs. They were applied in circular rotation. The feet are bound by thicker bandages. The
exposed surface of the body is darkened by resin. There are traces of laquer being applied
(Strouhal,1980,29).
From the top of the head down to heels the body measures 162 cm. According to the anthropologists the
man died between the age of 50-70 years. The x-rays showed signs of osteoporosis evident in the whole
skeleton. The set of teeth is almost complete and the tongue is present in the slightly open mouth.
The mummification was not always performed by the team of professional embalmers. The textual
evidence suggests, that at Deir el-Medina the bodies of the community were prepared or at least wrapped
by the workers themselves. The so called Absence ostrakon
EA 5634, now in the British Museum, bears
the attendance record of the workmen during year 40 of Ramesses II reign. The inscription on the front
tells us, apart from listing other reasons for absences, that Hehnekhu in month 2 of summer, day 7 was
wrapping (the corpse of) his mother, the same was done on day 8 ; Buqentuf was in month 2 of summer,
day 6 wrapping (the corpse of) his mother, the same was done on day 8. The inscription on the back
informs us that Amenemwia was in month 1 of winter, day 15 embalming Hormose, month 3 of winter, day
6 wrapping (the corpse of) his mother ; Neferabu was in month 2 of summer, day 7 embalming his brother
; Rahotep was in month 2 of summer, day 5 wrapping (the corpse of) his son, day 6, day 7, the same was
done on day 8.
Mummy bandages were made from strips and sheets of linen, often recycled from pieces of everyday
clothing and bed covers. Usually the head and the limbs were wrapped one by one first, then sheets of
linen alternating with narrow strips were applied in layers to create the standard shape of the mummy
(Taylor,2001,59). The quality and quantity of wrappings varied and not many bodies survived in their
original bandages once discovered as pieces of jewellery and amulets were sought.
Inv. No. 15/3
Human remains from Deir el-Medina dated to the 19th-20th dynasties
The mummified body of a male is displayed on the top shelf of the cabinet in a stretched out position.
The upper arms are placed by the sides of the body. The only remaining linen wrappings are on the face,
where they were placed in the 20th century due to soft tissue in the area being destroyed. Dark brown
hair is preserved on the head as well as a short beard on the chin. Several ribs are dislocated and the
rib area is broken on both sides but the abdominal wall, although sunken, is well preserved. The surface
of the body is shining and black due to use of resin during the embalming process.
From the top of the head down to the heels the body measures 158 cm.
The bone structure was found to be normal by the anthropologists. As the male external organs were
preserved, so it was straightforward to determine the sex of the mummy. The male probably died aged
40 to 50 (Strouhal,1980,33-35).
Health and disease
Human remains are one of the sources for the study of disease in pharaonic times. For the last 200
years mummies have been unwrapped, examined, later to be x-rayed and scanned. Together with written
evidence based on the accounts of disease in papyri and on ostraka along with pictorial and statuary
representations of persons the evidence of health and disease can be gleaned.
Among the major health problems in ancient Egypt were
- parasitic diseases, esp. Schistosomiasis (bilharzia) caused by immersion in water infested by free
swimming worms, Dracunculiasis (guinea-worm) caused by swallowing infested water, Filariasis caused by
mosquitoes, roundworms infesting intestines, tapeworms and malaria
- bacterial and viral infections, esp. tuberculosis, leprosy, tetanus, plague, sepsis and absesses,
osteomyelitis infecting bone, smallpox
- deformities, esp. dwarfism, club foot, cleft lip and hydrocephalus
- cancer and other tumours
- nutritional, endocrine and metabolic disorders, esp. obesity, liver disease, malnutrition
- diseases of internal organs
- bones and joints
- pains and aches
- disorders of ears, eyes and nose
- disorders of skin (Nunn,1996,64-95)
Heads of mummies
The heads are arranged in the inventory number rather than chronologically so the development of
preservation of bodies at Deir el-Medina is summarised here to point out the characteristic features of
mummification process that differed during the 19-20th dynasties and during the 21st dynasty.  It was
noted by Aidan Dodson (Demarée, 2000, p. 98) that none of the bodies recovered from Deir el-Medina
belonging to the latter part of the 18th dynasty seem to have been subject to any preservation
treatment other than simple wrapping. In Dodson's view the limited degree of post-mortem treatment
explains the lack of canopic equipment in any of those tombs. The bodies were thus left to decay and only
skeletons survive (see below the skulls of Sennefer and his wife Nefertiti).
The 19th and 20th dynasties remains from Deir el-Medina showed mummification techniques. The removal
of the brain became a regular feature of the process as well as evisceration.
The 21st dynasty saw the technical peak of mummification procedures when the embalmers tried to
recreate the natural appearance of the deceased. Packing was inserted under the shrivelled skin to
restore the fullness of the features. Earth, mud, linen, sawdust, sand, lichen, mixtures of the above or
other materials (Taylor,2001,86). The skin was often painted - red colour was used for males and yellow
colour for females, corresponding to the artistic tradition.
The fullness of the cheeks was achieved by stuffing soil behind them, the examination revealed
(Strouhal,1980,60). The nose is well preserved but both lips are missing, revealing both sets of teeth,
that were not badly abraded.
The entire top of the head lacks any soft tissue or remains of hair the skull being completely exposed
there.
The anthropologists considered the good state of the teeth and the bone structure of the forehead and
the chin and to arrive at the conclusion that the head most probably belonged to a woman, who died aged
between 30-40 years (Strouhal,1980,60).
Inv. No. 15/7
A mummified head from Deir el-Medina
dated to the 21st dynasty
Height: 23 cm
The head and the neck are well preserved. Soft tissues as
well as both ears and the lips have survived. Both cheeks
were modelled to have a full appearance - fillings of earth
were inserted into the mouth and beyond the cheeks during
the mummification process. The process resulted in the skin
cracking in several places where the incisions were made.
The x-rays showed shadows over the whole face area,
which is how it was established the artificial filling was
under the skin (Strouhal,1980,71). The face was painted
with red pigment and the entire head was covered by
efflorescent salt (Matiegková,1929,252). Linen bundles
were apparent in both nasal passages.
Inv. No. 15/8
A mummified head from Deir el-Medina
dated to the 21st dynasty
Height: 24 cm
The soft tissues of the head and the neck are well preserved,
but the nose and the ears are missing. The skin on the face
displays yellowish brown colour due to artificial colouring applied
during the mummification process. Remains of straight hair are
preserved. Both eye lids are open, but the artificial eye,
present in the left socket, is missing in the right socket. It is
apparent on the x-ray that both artificial eyes were supported
by bundles of linen placed in the sockets (Strouhal,1980,73).
Both cheeks display as full due to fillings inserted into them.
The right cheek has got a part missing, the left cheek is
slightly cracked in the place where the incision for the filling
was made. The mouth is open and the teeth are visible. The
x-ray showed that they are only lightly abraded
(Strouhal,1980,74).
Considering the features of the skull and the fact that some
connective tissue joints are still open and the state of the
teeth, the anthropologists arrived a t a conclusion, that the
head belonged to a female, who died aged between 30-50
years.
Inv. No. 15/12
A mummified head from Deir el-Medina
dated to the 21st dynasty
Height: 23 cm
The head and the neck are preserved in an
exceptionally life like state. The linen bandages are
wrapped around the head and the neck, although not in
their original position. During examination during the
early 1970s the bandages were lifted to reveal remains
of short hair and both ears, then they were put back in
a slightly different way, comparing them to the
photograph taken at the time of writing the article in
1929, when the head was being examined by Ludmila
Matiegková. The face is bandage free. The soft tissue
is very well preserved apart from the nose which is
missing completely. The damage to the nose must have
happened after both examinations took place as in both
reports by Matiegková and Strouhal's team it was
firmly present in the  photographs of the head as well
as in the reports.
Inv. No. 15/11
A mummified head from Deir el-Medina
dated to the 18th-20th dynasties
Height: 26 cm
The head and a part of the neck are wrapped in
woven linen. The bandages are missing on the right
side of the face. The exposed bone and eye socket
do not display soft tissue or an artificial eye. The
neck area carries remains of black resin.
Normal structure of bone tissue was determined by
the examination and the teeth were found to be
defective and highly abraded. The anthropologists
considered the vaulted forehead, the wide prominent
chin and the robust bones to have belonged to a man,
who died aged between 30 to 50 years. They found
that one of the vertebrae displayed a smooth
outgrow of immature bone (Strouhal,1980,58), which
often formed as a result of degenerative disease.
During his lifetime this person suffered from a
musculoskeletal disorder.
Inv. No. 15/10
A mummified head from Deir el-Medina
dated to the 18th-20th dynasties
The head and a part of the neck are mostly covered
in linen bandages missing mainly in the areas of the
nose, the mouth and the chin. The exposed parts
display skeleton rather than soft tissue. The x-ray
revealed that the eye sockets are empty, no
artificial eyes were inserted. The examinations
revealed a normal bone structure and highly abraded
and defective teeth. In the anthropologists' opinion,
the head belonged to a man who died in his 50s.
Teeth were misaligned. more?
Inv. No. 15/13
A mummified head from Deir el-Medina
dated to the 21st dynasty
Height: 23 cm
Head, neck and the upper part of the chest are very
well preserved with no traces of the original
wrappings. Both ears and nose survived. The skin on
the face displays dark tone, almost greyish/black,
due to colouring during the mummification process.
Traces of gilding are evident. The mouth is closed as
well as both eyes. The x-ray shows there are
cavities behind the eye lids - originally the artificial
eyes must have been in place (Strouhal,1980,75).
Inv. No. 15/14
A mummified head from Deir el-Medina
dated to the 21st dynasty
Height of the head: 16 cm
Height of the head together with the shoulder: 21 cm
The head, neck, vertebrae, thorax, rib and a right
shoulder survive together with few wrappings on top of
the head. The soft tissues and the right ear are well
preserved. The facial features can be recognised. Both
eyes are closed while the mouth is slightly open, a few
teeth can be seen. The skin appears to be black due to
varnish with resin being applied during the mummification
process (Matiegková,1929,252).
The x-rays showed shadows at the bottom half of the
face while there were no shadows in the cranial cavity,
meaning the cheeks are filled and the cavity was left
empty. Although the eye sockets are empty, the
arching of the upper lids suggests they were filled
during the mummification process (Strouhal,1980,72).
Based on the advancement of the teeth and on the
fact, that the appearance of the connective tissue joint
on the skull, the anthropologists suggested the age of
the infant between 2-3 years.
Human remains originating from the cemeteries of Deir el-Medina, nowadays housed within the collections
of the Hrdlička Museum of Anthropology, Charles University, Prague, consist of:-
3 complete mummified bodies
8 mummified heads and
23 human skulls and several long bones.
They all were donated by the French Institute of Oriental Archaeology in Cairo to the national collections
in Prague thanks to the endeavours of Czech Egyptologist
Jaroslav Černý. Jaroslav Černý was involved in
excavations at Deir el-Medina as an epigrapher from 1925 and was able to facilitate the donations. The
known provenance of the mummified remains helped in their dating: 6 of them were dated to the 18th-
20th dynasties, the other 6 into the 21st dynasty. The skeletal remains came from the 18th dynasty
tombs No. 1137, 1153 and 1159 which were excavated in 1928 by Bernard Bruyère and his team.
Jaroslav Černý participated in the discoveries.
The skeletal remains were donated directly to the Anthropological Institute of the Charles University
(they became part of the Museum of Man, renamed the Hrdlička Museum of Man in 1937) (Matiegková,
1931,324). The mummified remains (complete bodies and heads) together with several other objects,
were transferred from the National Museum to the Hrdlička Museum at the end of November 1958
(Strouhal,1980,28).
Although many will consider the displaying of human remains as controversial the collection being a part of
an anthropological museum and serving as a teaching and research collection, skeletons, bones and
weathered flesh are quite rightly on display there.
The aim of this page is not only to describe and show the fascinating remains showcased in the museum.
Summary of the  mummification techniques used in ancient Egypt and health and disease issues are also
touched upon. It is my wish to bring to the attention of the reader of these web pages a lesser known
collection from Deir el-Medina where I came literally face to face with the ancient members of the
community whose intriguing histories I have been following for nearly a decade.
I would like to express my thanks to the Hrdlička Museum and its staff, whose time and help has been
essential. The curator Marco Stella kindly gave me permission to publish the images on my web site, and
both him and Zuzana Krupová were generous with their assistance.
Photographs © Hrdlička Museum of Anthropology
Photography Lenka Peacock. The text was compiled by Lenka Peacock mainly based on the research
conducted and published by Eugen Strouhal, Luboš Vyhnálek, Ludmila Matiegková and Jindřich Matiegka
with additional sources listed in the bibliography below.
Sources:
1. Strouhal, E., Vyhnálek, L.: Egyptian mummies in Czechoslovak collections
Národn
í Museum v Praze, 1980.
2. Matiegková, L.: Vyšetřován
í egyptských mumií
IN : Anthropologie čís. 1-2, p. 237-253. Rozhledy-Review-Revue
Praha : Anthropologicky Ustav UK, 19--.
3. Matiegková, L., Matiegka, J.: Hrob Sen Nefera a tělesné znaky staroegyptského lidu za doby XVIII dynastie (Le
tombe de Sen Nefer et les caractères physiques des anciens Egyptiens au temps de la XVIIIe dynastie
Offprint : Anthropologie IX, cis. 1. pp. 320-335.
Praha : Grafické závody V. & A. Janata v Novém Bydžově, 1931.
4. Skvařilová, B.: Hrdličkovo muzeum človeka Univerzity Karlovy
Praha : Hrdličkovo muzeum, 2010.
5. Deir el-Medina in the third millenniuim AD : a tribute to Jac. J. Janssen / edited by R. J. Demarée and A. Egberts
Leiden : Nederlands Instituut voor Het Nabije Oosten, 2000.
6. Janssen, Rosalind and Janssen, Jac. J.: Growing up and getting old in ancient Egypt
London : Golden House Publications, 2007.
7. Taylor, John H.: Death and afterlife in ancient Egypt
London : British Museum Press, 2001.
8. Strouhal, Evzen: Life of the ancient Egyptians
Liverpool : Liverpool University Press, 1997.
9. Nunn, John F.: Ancient Egyptian medicine
London : British Museum Press, 1996.
10. Deir el-Medina in the third millenniuim AD : a tribute to Jac. J. Janssen / edited by R. J. Demarée and A. Egberts
Leiden : Nederlands Instituut voor Het Nabije Oosten, 2000.
http://www.natur.cuni.cz/biology/hrdlickovo-muzeum/aboutus_listing
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osteophyte
http://muzeumcloveka.cz/en/permanent-exhibition/
Sennefer and Neferit's tomb was undisturbed in antiquity. They were found in their coffins that
contained some of their possessions. To read about the tomb, its discovery and description of its contents
as well as description of the coffins and its contents go to
Tomb 1159. The passage below contains
description of the skulls examined by Matiegka and Matiegková and published in 1931.
Both adult bodies were left to decay with little or no mummification. No traces of resin were found on
the bodies. Mostly the skeletons survived.

Sennefer's body was wrapped in 7 layers of linen. The corpse was wrapped in roughly woven linen although
linen of finer quality was used for the top layer. A layer of bandages was applied to each layer of linen
wrappings. White dried maggots were found in the coffin. They were responsible for the holes in the
wrappings, that caused the bodily fluids to stain the bottom of the coffin. No skin survived on Sennefer's
body. In his thorax remains of lungs were found in the form of black substance. His arms were placed
along the body, palms covering the genital area.
Inv. No. 15/6
A mummified head from Deir el-Medina
dated to the 21st dynasty
Height: 20 cm
This well preserved head was excavated by the
French Institute and donated to the Anthropological
Institute in Prague but remained in possession of Dr.
Jindřich Matiegka. After his death the head was
donated to the Hrdlička Museum.
The head and parts of the neck are preserved
although no linen wrappings survived. The face is
remarkably life-like thanks to soft tissues not
disintegrating and also thanks to the fact that the
artificial eyes, are also still in situ. The eyes are
made of white glass with black round irises in their
middle. The x-rays showed that material - perhaps
linen - was stuffed in the eye socket to keep the
artificial eyes in place.
We have looked at the past and evaluated the present state of the remains of the inhabitants of Deir
el-Medina housed at the Hrdlička Museum of Anthropology. What does the future hold? In the last 2
decades radiologists have been using tomography scans (CT scans) to learn more about ancient bodies.
This modern medical technology, conducts imaging by sections when hundreds of images of the body are
taken to be joined together in 3-D views using computers. This high tech tool can differentiate among
various types of bone and soft tissue and produce clearer images than conventional x-ray that was used
in 1970s to examine the remains. If in the future any of the complete mummies of the heads could
undergo CT scan, not only could this non-invasive examination offer further clues to the mummies
themselves but taking advantage of reconstructed 3-D images the faces could also be recreated and one
could really look into a face emerging from behind the curtain of the past.
As the cranial cavity also displayed similar density of filling on the x-ray, it was established that the
same filling as for the face was used, rather than the usual filling of resin, which would display a denser
shadow. The fact, that most of the head was filled with earth also explained the heaviness of the head.
Very few pieces of linen survived on the surface. Some remains of hair are preserved.
The radiological examination revealed normal structure of bone tissue. The teeth, that cannot be seen,
because the mouth is closed, showed insignificant abrasion on the x-ray (Strouhal,1980,71). Considering
the fact, that the connective tissue joint on top of the head could not be seen due to the presence of
the fillings, but the frontal connective tissue joint is open, together with the state of the teeth, the
anthropologists concluded the head belonged to a male adult, who died between his 25th and 35th year.
Infant deaths
Life in ancient Egypt had many dangers for babies and infants, from illnesses and infections to bites by
insects and snakes. The infant mortality was high, as it is still is these days in countries with insufficient
medical help. Numerous child burials were uncovered either within ancient Egyptian cemeteries or within
the floors of living quarters.
In the area of the Eastern cemetery at Deir el-Medina more than 100 burials belonging to infants were
excavated. Their remains were laid out in domestic pottery, in baskets, in chests, boxes and some in
wooden coffins (Janssen,2007,19).
The skin on the face was painted reddish brown resinous varnish mixed with salt (Matiegková,1929,253)
during the mummification. The eye brows were marked in black. Both eyes have bundles of linen inserted
into the sockets between the lids. The linen is painted white on the surface with black dots for irises.
Several cracks appear in the surface of the skin. They were caused by incisions made to insert the filling
behind the lips and cheeks (Strouhal,1980,74). The fillings are a mixture of resin, salt, saw dust etc.
(Matiegková,1929,253).
The mouth is closed. During the examination it was observed that there is a short beard and moustache
preserved on both the chin and the upper lip.
The x-ray showed shadows in the bottom part of the face (fillings) as well as in the cranial cavity. The
shadow in the cavity does not seem very dense, it was concluded that earth and sand were used as a
filler rather than resin (Strouhal,1980,75).
The radiographs revealed that the bone tissue had a normal structure. The teeth were not visible on the
x-ray due to the fillings, hence their condition could not be determined. Degenerative changes on the
spine were observed in the form of an osteophyte. Osteophytes form naturally on the back of the spine
as a person gets older. They do not usually cause back pains, but instead are the common symptom of a
deeper problem. However, they can impinge on nerves that leave the spine for other parts of the body.
This can cause pain in both upper and lower limbs and a numbness or tingling sensations in the hands and
feet. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osteophyte).
The anthropologists suggested the age at death at between 30-40 years. The head belonged to a male.
Thick curly hair is preserved on the head.
No fillings are shown in the cranial cavity.
The structure of the bone tissue was found
to be normal. Although the connective tissue
on the skull was found still opened, it was
diagnosed as persistent frontal suture. The
age was estimated by the anthropologists as
15-17 years. The head probably belonged to
a male.
Skeletal remains
The skeletal remains from Deir el-Medina consist of remains of Sennefer, Neferit and a child, discovered
in
pit 1159 in 1928 by the French Institute of Oriental Archaeology in Cairo under direction of Bernard
Bruyère. The bodies were sent to Prague to the Institute of Anthropology of Charles University wrapped
in linen with labels attached to them (Matiegková,1931,324). The skulls of both adults are described
below.
The consignment also included 20 skulls lacking lower jaws (1 lacking the facial bones). Of these 20 skulls  
5 skulls came from an 18th dynasty Pit 1137, discovered by Bruyère in 1928. 4 of the skulls belonged to
adults, 1 to a child.
Bruyère's notes dating to January 15th 1928 recording the discovery of Pit 1137 can be viewed in his
notebook published on-line by IFAO:
http://www.ifao.egnet.net/bases/archives/bruyere/?sujet=Kom+325+%3B+3.+Puits+1129+%C3%A0+
1183.+Tombe+n%C2%B0+1&os=3
4 skulls of the consignment derived from the 18th dynasty Pit 1153 discovered at the same time.
Bruyère's sketch of the position of the pit within the southwest corner of the western cemetery can be
viewed in his notebook published on-line by IFAO:
http://www.ifao.egnet.net/bases/archives/bruyere/?sujet=Kom+325+%3B+3.+Puits+1129+%C3%A0+
1183.+Tombe+n%C2%B0+1&os=6
Neferit's body was placed within the sycamore coffin wrapped in layers of linen. No cartonnage mask was
present. No mummification was detected and evisceration was not performed on the deceased. The
remains were stuck to the bottom of the coffin. Neferit's arms were placed alongside her body, palms
protecting the genital area. Brown dust surrounded the skeleton. Those were the disintegrated muscles
and soft tissue. Remains of the skin were preserved in the breast and stomach areas. The skin on the
breasts displayed red spots, perhaps sign of an infectious disease. The skin on her neck still had a
youthful appearance. In her thorax remains of lungs and larynx were found. The cranial cavity contained
dark red dust, remains of brain. The body was adorned with a necklace of turquoise, coral, lapis lazuli
and gold, an arm and wrist bracelets and 2 rings.
It was noted that the causes of death
of both Sennefer or Neferit were
impossible to establish and neither was
the sequence in which they died. There
was no written evidence that Neferit
was Sennefer's wife, but together with
the baby discovered in the coffin next
to theirs, all three seem to create a
family unit. Today they are reunited
again, on the shelf of the museum's
display cabinet.
Sennefer's skull from the
collection of the Hrdlička Museum
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This page was updated on August 30th 2015
Neferit's skull from the collection
of the Hrdlička Museum
I would like to express my thanks
to Hans Ollermann from Holland,
who improved the images of
Neferit's skull.