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Ibis Mummy

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Gallery, 4th Floor

Considered sacrosanct, the ibis was connected first with the god Thoth and later with the revered sage Imhotep. Mummified ibises found at cult sites dedicated to Thoth or Imhotep are usually understood as votives deposited by private persons either as offerings to curry favor or as gestures of appreciation for answered prayers. This elaborately preserved ibis bears witness to the extremes to which the ancient embalmers could go in their preservation of an animal. The linen wrappings, some of which have been dyed, are wound in an intricate pattern, while the bronze head attached to the mummy shows exquisite workmanship.

MEDIUM Animal remains, resin, linen
  • Place Excavated: Abydos, Egypt
  • DATES 30 B.C.E.–100 C.E.
    PERIOD Early Roman Period
    DIMENSIONS Ibis mummy with headdress: 30 5/16 x 5 1/2 x 8 1/4 in. (77 x 14 x 21 cm) a - Ibis mummy without headdress:: 24 7/16 x 5 5/16 x 8 1/4 in. (62 x 13.5 x 21 cm) b - Headdress: 15 x 13 11/16 x 2 11/16 in. (38.1 x 34.8 x 6.9 cm)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Gallery, 4th Floor
    ACCESSION NUMBER 14.655a-b
    CREDIT LINE Gift of the Egypt Exploration Fund
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