El Minya Mummies
Human Mummy
Egyptian-mummy 0
Biographical Information
Sex F
Culture Egyptian
Date(s) Greco-Roman era, from 332 BC to 395 AD
Site El Minya, Egypt (about 240km (150 miles) south of Cairo)
Current Location
Location Hermopolis Museum
Catalog #
In 2015, the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, found two previously unknown Greco-Roman era mummies complete with sarcophagi which were retrieved from filthy water where they’d been found floating near El Minya, Egypt.The wooden sarcophagi containing the mummies suffered extensive damage due the foul water.


The remains were preserved in the tradition of the time, with colorful drawings of the women on the sarcophagi tops. This type of mummy portraiture, known as ‘Fayum portraits’ often depicted the head and chest of the deceased painted onto a panel using encaustic wax or egg-tempera paint techniques.


Experts are now trying to restore what remains of the two mummies although they could be so damaged that they can not be properly restored. If possible they will be put on display along with their sarcophagi at Minya's Hermopolis Museum.


It is not clear how or why the mummies were left in the sewage water, but experts at the ministry suspect the artifacts might have been deliberately discarded there during illegal excavations.

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Cesspool site where the mummies were found

The coffins were decorated with colourful designs, but they were missing any ancient Egyptian inscriptions or hieroglyphics. A third sarcophagus was also found, but was empty.

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