Saturday, September 22, 2007

Ultimate Preservation

While maneuvering through the Vatican Museums towards the Sistine Chapel, we stumbled into the Gregorian Egyptian Museum. Here they had exhibits consisting of tablets, sculptures, and sarcophagi. The most interesting exhibit they had was two mummies with their respective Sarcophagi in a glass case. Both were preserved extremely well. The male mummy was still wrapped in its linen shroud to which some ornaments are attached. The other was a female mummy. She too was still wrapped, however, her head, hands, and feet were exposed. They both are dated to be from the 21st dynasties around 1000 BC. Because the practice of mummifying had extended even to the lower middle classes of Egyptian society during the 20th-21st dynasties (1200-950 BC), their identities are unknown. These mummies were found with a large group of mummies laid in plaster and painted sarcophagi that were mass-produced, in the Necropolis of Deir el-Bahri in Thebes. Visit the Vatican Museums online.

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