Greek Mummy
Human Mummy
Detail of eyebrow on Greek mummy
Detail of eyebrow on Greek mummy
Biographical Information
Name(s) Greek Mummy Found in Lead Coffin
Age 50-60 years old
Sex Female
Status High
Height 63 inches
Culture Ancient Greece
Date(s) A.D. 300
Site Northern Greece, on the eastern cemetery of Thessaloniki
Current Location
Location Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, Greece.
Catalog #

First discovered in 1962 on an archeological dig in Northern Greece, a female mummy was found inside a lead coffin inside a marble sarcophagus which was apparently custom made for the woman inside. She was wearing gold detailed purple silk garments, indicating high social status and wealth. However, it was not until 2008 a team of researchers were able to conclude use macroscopic and anthropological analyses, electron microscopy and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry examinations to learn about the mummy.


Frank Rühli discovered the mummy was embalmed using a variety of herbs, resins and spices including myrrh and various fats. The body was lying on a wood plank inside the lead coffin wrapped in cotton and linen bandages. The body was extremely well preserved having a small amount of hair, cells and tissues still intact. Researchers also believe that the lead coffin was essential to the quality of preservation. The corpse also might have been washed with water and wine and treated with olive oil.


The mummy is the first evidence of Greek embalming when the Romans were in control around AD 300. The mummy had some hair, eyebrows, and red blood cells remaining along with a muscle in her hand which were all found to be extremely dehydrated. The mummy's bones indicated she died somewhere between 50-60 years old, but the cause of death remains uncertain.


The site where the Greek Mummy was discovered was known as a burial and ritual ground in the Hellenistic to the Byzantine Periods.

External Links


Lloyd, Robin. (2008). Greek Mummy Found in Lead Coffin. Live Science. Retrieved from

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