Female Mummy Portrait, Hawara

Illustration

Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin
by
published on 24 March 2016

This is a thin lime (Tilia species) panel with an encaustic wax mummy portrait of the head and shoulders of a dark-haired young woman. She wears a brown robe, gold earrings, and simple necklace. "Isarous" is written in Greek across the background. An analysis of the plate revealed the presence of beeswax as the binding medium. From Hawara cemetery, Egypt. Early 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.



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.

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