Human Mummy
Biographical Information
Name(s) Alex
Age 2,200
Sex Male
Status Upper-class clergyman
Height 154 cm (5 foot 5)
Culture Egyptian
Date(s) 2nd Century BCE
Site Unknown
Current Location
Location Israel Museum
Catalog # Unknown

The mummy and its sarcophagus were given to the Jerusalem Pontifical Biblical Institute in 1930. He lived in the Upper Egyptian town of Akhmim, in 2nd century BCE.

Iret-hor-iru or “The Protective Eye of Horus” was most likely a high-ranking priest from ancient Egypt’s New Kingdom, the mummy is encased in a gold and black sarcophagus, and wrapped in strips of linen, wearing a gold mask.


He underwent the traditional process of embalming and mummification. His internal organs were removed and placed in canopic jars, his brain was pulled out through his nose, his body was packed and covered with natron to dry it out and then wrapped in linen. The mummy is thought to be very well preserved for his age, with the bones, teeth and remnants of blood vessels largely intact, due to the ancient Egyptian embalming process and the dry climate in Jerusalem.


Radiocarbon dating of the linen wrappings found he died in the 2nd century BCE, and CT scans found he lived into his late 30s or early 40s.

He still had most of his teeth, but suffered from cavities and receding gums, as well as osteoporosis.


Nicknamed Alex after he was donated to Jerusalem’s Pontifical Biblical Institute by Jesuits in Alexandria.

Iret-hor-iru is the only Egyptian mummy in Israel.


Ancient Egyptian mummy named 'Alex' displayed in Jerusalem. (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2017, from

Zion, I. B., Kampeas, R., Fulbright, A., Staff, T. O., AFP and Times of Israel staff, Times of Israel staff and Judah Ari Gross, . . . Cortellessa, E. (2016, July 26). Israel’s only mummy gets afterlife spotlight at Israel Museum. Retrieved February 26, 2017, from

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