The mummy was originally part of a collection of Egyptian antiquities amassed by Henry Salt, British Consul General in Egypt, in the 1820s. The curators at the British Museum, who are responsible for the exhibit he is a part of, have taken to calling him the Roman Man in place of his unknown name. His status is currently unknown and the exact location of his discovery is also unknown. What is known is that he was wrapped in a very unusual way as if he was alive and that his dental health, as revealed through CT scans, is one of the worst examined in a study involving him and seven other mummies. A few other mummies where found to have been wrapped similarly and brought to the museum at the same time, leading the curators to believe these mummies were entombed together. It is unknown whether these other mummies were related as family, profession, or shared similar social status.
This specimen was wrapped by an unusual method, his fingers and toes, and his arms and legs were separately. Along with this his face was wrapped in a type of linen which creates the appearance of skin, with facial features such as his eyes, nose, and lips painted on it. Along with that a beard was painted on his face. He was in a wooden coffin marked with the woman's name, Mutemmenu, but the coffin has been dated to 1300-1200BC, the mummy is of a much later period and the coffin obviously recycled. There is no inscription on the wrappings to identify the deceased.
A study on eight mummies in the British Museum was conducted with the help of the curators of the human remains collection. The study involved computerized tomography (CT) scans and 3D visualization to gain new information on life and death in the Nile Valley.
Tests established that he was at least 20 years old, 5ft 6in tall, had lost five teeth - and would have suffered from several dental abscesses.
The Roman Man suffered tooth decay and tooth loss; including losing five of his molars, five dental abscesses were also found to be active, along with a large dental cavity in one of his remaining back teeth.
Believed to have been brought to the British Museum sometime in the 1820s.
padding had been applied to plump out his thighs and his breasts. Scholars think both areas may have been specially padded because the man was fat in life and the embalmer was trying to recreate accurately his appearance.
Small fragments of gold leaf have been preserved on the external surface.
His natural hair was left uncovered by the wrapping.
Mason, E. (2014, September 4). Secret lives of ancient Egyptians revealed by CT scans of mummies. History Extra. Retrieved from <http://www.historyextra.com/feature/secret-lives-ancient-egyptians-revealed-ct-scans-mummies>
The British Museum. (2014, May 22). Ancient lives new discoveries. Retrieved from <http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/exhibitions/ancient_lives,_new_discoveries.aspx?fromShortUrl>
The British Museum. (2014, May 22). Press release, Ancient lives, new discoveries. Retrieved from <http://www.britishmuseum.org/about_us/news_and_press/press_releases/2014/ancient_lives,_new_discoveries.aspx>