Wax Encaustic Mummy Portrait, Hawara

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Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin
published on 24 March 2016
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A wax encaustic portrait on a wood panel depicting a young woman. She has dark hair in rows of curls across her forehead. The skin pigment appears extremely patchy (predominantly cream). She has maroon-colored lips; the eyes are dark brown and white. There is no trace of jewellery except for ball earrings. The background is blue-grey. The portrait is virtually complete (in two main pieces, but restored previously from fragments, which were longitudinally cracked). There are traces of oiled bandages from its mummy binding at the top and lower edges of the plate (there are a few small linen patches). From Hawara cemetery, Egypt. 2nd century CE. The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London (with thanks to The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL).

NB: The Petrie Museum has the largest collection of these "portraits" outside of Egypt. Originally, these portraits were placed over their mummified body; these images were hailed as the 1st life-like representations of real people on their 1st exhibition in London in 1888 CE. These portraits were excavated in 1888-1889 CE and 1910-1911 CE.

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About the Author

Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin
Associate Professor of Neurology and lover of the Cradle of Civilization, Mesopotamia. I'm very interested in Mesopotamian history and always try to take photos of archaeological sites and artifacts in museums, both in Iraq and around the world.

Cite This Work

APA Style

Amin, O. S. M. (2016, March 24). Wax Encaustic Mummy Portrait, Hawara. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.ancient.eu/image/4775/

Chicago Style

Amin, Osama S. M. "Wax Encaustic Mummy Portrait, Hawara." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Last modified March 24, 2016. https://www.ancient.eu/image/4775/.

MLA Style

Amin, Osama S. M. "Wax Encaustic Mummy Portrait, Hawara." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 24 Mar 2016. Web. 28 Nov 2020.

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