Exhibitions: To Live Forever: Art and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt

Mummy of Demetrios

When the Romans ruled Egypt (30 B.C.E.–642 C.E.), some wealthy Greeks there were mummified. This mummy was made with expensive imported materials that show the wealth Demetrios commanded in life. It is wrapped in a linen shroud painted with red pigment made with lead imported from Spain. The mummy includes a Roman-style portrait of Demetrios painted on a wooden panel in the medium of encaustic, or wax plus pigment. Artists added Egyptian divine symbols to the mummy shroud and the deceased’s name and age at death, recorded as fifty-nine years, all in gold leaf.

A recent CT scan (or three-dimensional X-ray) of this mummy reveals that the individual suffered from gallstones during his life.