Human Mummy
Biographical Information
Name(s) Moses
Age 2,000
Sex Male
Culture South African
Current Location
Location South Africa
Catalog #

Deep in a cave was the body of a human male estimated to be about 2,000 years old. He is the first mummified human remains found in South Africa. 


The Egyptians and the Incas mummified the bodies of their god-kings for their journeys through the afterlife, and so, it appears, did the San, the nomadic hunter- gatherer clans who were Southern Africa’s first people. now in the Albany Museum of Natural History in Grahamstown,


Anthropologists found the mummy under two layers of bushes, sticks and a rare painted gravestone in April while excavating the shelter where the mummy was found and its surrounds.


The body was lying on its left side in a fetal position, and wrapped in a medicinal leaf known as boophone that is still used as a bandage in Xhosa circumcision rites. The boophone “clearly has some preservative and insecticide quality as well, which kept the bacteria and flesh-eating organisms away”according to researchers. “The body has simply dried up.” Besides the leaves keeping out decomposing bacteria and fungi, the body’s remarkable state of preservation was also enhanced by the dryness of the environment.

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