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Shrew Mummy

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Shrews and ichneumons both prey on snakes and therefore won the Egyptians’ admiration and worship. Though snakes could turn their powers to protecting kings and queens, serpents also threatened the sun god Re on his journey through the next world. Egyptian religion made room for both the positive and negative aspects of certain animals.

The shrew mummy bundle shows that more than one animal was sometimes included in one package.
MEDIUM Animal remains (Crocidura flavescens, C. nana, C. olivieri, or C. religiosa), linen
  • Place Excavated: Abydos, Egypt
  • DATES 30 B.C.E. – 50 C.E.
    PERIOD Early Roman Period
    DIMENSIONS 1 1/4 × 8 9/16 × 1 3/8 in. (3.2 × 21.7 × 3.5 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Gift of the Egypt Exploration Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Small mummified shrew wrapped spirally in brown and natural color linen. Eyes in relief. Condition: General condition excellent, linen somewhat dirty.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Shrew Mummy, 30 B.C.E. – 50 C.E. Animal remains (Crocidura flavescens, C. nana, C. olivieri, or C. religiosa), linen, 1 1/4 × 8 9/16 × 1 3/8 in. (3.2 × 21.7 × 3.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Egypt Exploration Fund, 14.653. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 14.653_PS2.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 14.653_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2008
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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