Linen man
Human Mummy
Linen-man 624x624
Biographical Information
Name(s) Unknown
Age Middle to old adult (35 years + )
Sex Male
Height 171 cm (5 feet 7 inches)
Date(s) 26th Dynasty, about 600 BC
Site Thebes, Egypt
Current Location
Location British Museum
Catalog #

A middle aged man of unknown identity was found in Thebes, Egypt. The Prince of Wales at the time, received several mummies by the Egyptian government in honor of his visit to the country in 1869. This is how the unknown man made his way to England.


Recent CT scans provided insight to how this man was preserved. The brain and organs had been removed, and the embalmers had filled the body with packing materials. Some organs might have been inserted back into the body as well. Evidence from the epidermis indicates that the body had been dried out from natron salt. Finally the man was wrapped up in layers of linen.


Scans showed that this individual had at least four dental abscesses which were caused by the deterioration of the back molars. This exposed the inside of the teeth, roots, and the pulp which let bacteria in. The spread of bacteria promoted infection producing a hollow pocket at the end of the teeth. Dental abscesses create immense discomfort and might have led to the cause of this individual's death. The bacteria could have entered the blood stream leading to septicemia.


The male mummy was found in a female's coffin. The coffin belonged to a women named Shepenmehyt. This mix-up might have happened in ancient times or after discovery. Mummy cases were often recycled in antiquity and mummies and coffins sold separately in the 19th century antiquities market.


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