Red Mummy
Human Mummy
Biographical Information
Name(s) Red Mummy
Age 20s
Sex male
Status high
Height Unknown
Culture Romano-Egyptian
Date(s) AD 100-186
Site unknown
Current Location
Location Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK
Catalog # Unknown

An example of a red shroud portrait mummy. About thirty red shrouded mummies and fragments of mummies of the Roman period survive from the 1st to 2nd century AD.

Discovered along with another red shroud mummy, a woman, the mummies are shown together in a post-excavation photograph dated 1902/3. The second mummy is now in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.


The portrait was created separately from the shroud, almost certainly by a different artist. Red lead, charcoal, and calcite, were used to color the shroud. Analysis of lead isotope ratios and of trace metals found the red lead used in the making of the shroud was sourced from the Rio Tinto area of Spain where it was a manufactured by-product of Roman silver mining.

CT scans indicate that the mummy was in his 20s at death. The body was in an advanced state of decomposition before mummification and was damaged during wrapping. The mummy was laid on two wooden boards to provide rigidity and the linen wrapping was packed out using bundled up cloth.

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