The Mummy in the Sarcophagus • Thacker Gallery
Asking questions • We could ask anything we wanted about the mummy. • She takes four people to carry and smells strange. She has been here since 1960.
What would it look like unwrapped? We don't unwrap mummies, because it is disrespectful. Would look leathery, have hair, bones etc. • Is it an important person? Only an important person would be mummified. Ordinary people were buried in the sand, middle people were almost pickled. She was very important. • How do you know it's a woman? She has been x-rayed at Durham Hospital. Her bones are different from a man's.
Does anything on the pattern mean anything? Everything does! It is made of papier mache and the drawings all mean things- Gods, to protect her. • What is that? (Pried thesis) She was born with part of her arm missing. So they made a model to take into the afterlife so she'd have two hands. • How do you know she's a priest? The patterns on her feet say priest.
How old is she? She is 2264 years old. She was 60 when she died. • Why do they put patterns on the tomb? For the family, who went into the tomb to pray for her, to be remembered. Also to show off how rich you were. • Did she have any children? As far as they know, there is no evidence so no. • Where did the paint come from? From things around them. Red is made from lead paint, blue- not sure
Do you have any other family members? We think she was one of lots of brothers and sisters, because of her arm, perhaps didn't get enough to eat. • Did you find her in a pyramid? We don't know how or when she was dug up in Egypt. We know she lived in Middle Egypt because of her markings. It wasn't written down. • Why mummify like this? It lasts longer. In the sand, bits will fall off over time.
What is the made of? Sycamore wood. • Why is she so small? In history people were smaller, but she was short. Also taking the water out made her shrink. • How do they know how big she was to put her in it? They measured her. Sometimes it didn't fit so it wasn't made for them. • How have the bandages lasted? The linen bandages were dipped in glue to help them last.
What's her name? Her name would be written on her feet but the paint has rubbed off. We are trying from old photo's. • Was it upsetting? They didn't see it as upsetting. The beginning of a new life, not the end of the old life. • Why do they have masks? They believed in a soul which looked like you, a Ba, which flies off and might need to come back, so needs to recognise its body. But they made themselves look much prettier. • Why is the room cold and dark? She will rot if she gets too hot and too light, the colours will fade.
How did they keep mummies cold in Egypt? The pyramids were cold because of the stone, and lots were underground. They don't make good tombs, because they are easy for tomb robbers to find. • Why is the mummy in a coffin? To protect her, keep her supported. • Did she have jewellery with her? No, she was found in an old lady's attic in Anglesey. We have no idea how she got there! She sold her to a museum, who sold her on.
Do you know when she born? She was born in 310BC. We know from her artwork when and where she was made.