Hawk Mummy

Object of the Month: 01/2011

What is it?:

A mummified hawk


Origin:

Egypt


Age: Late or Greco-Roman Period
What is it made of?:

hawk sp., resin, linen


Accession #: 1-992:157

An ancient Egyptian mummified hawk.

Minutes before, the hawk had twisted and struggled in the embalmer's hands. Now it lies still—dead—on the his table, covered in the hot, thick resin that had suffocated it.

The piney, cedar odor of the cooling resin fills the room as the embalmer carefully lays strips of linen over the body, following the intricate pattern of wrapping that will ensure the preservation of the hawk in this world and beyond.

The embalmer is sure that the offering of the mummified bird will please Horus, the falcon-headed god of the sky. Assuming, of course, that a pilgrim actually buys it first…

To look inside this mummy, click to the next page!

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