Heartless Mummy
Biographical Information
Name(s) Theban Female
Age 30~50
Sex Female
Status High
Culture Roman Egypt
Date(s) Around AD 300
Site Thebes, Egypt
Current Location
Location McGill University Redpath Museum
Catalog # RM2717

The unnamed woman lived around 300 AD, a time when Egypt was being controlled by Rome and mummification ritual was in decline. Her family decided to mummify her according to Egyptian tradition when she died regardless.


To remove her organs, the embalmers created a hole through her perineum and removed her intestines, stomach, liver, and her heart. Her brain, however, was left intact. Spices and lichen were spread over her head and abdomen, and she was wrapped and placed in a coffin. Before the embalmers were finished they filled the hole in the perineum with linen and resin. They also put two thin plaques similar to cartonnage (a plastered material) on her skin above her sternum and abdomen, something that may have been intended to ritually heal the damage the embalmers had done and act as a replacement, of sorts, for her removed heart.


Like many Egyptians, she had dental problems and had lost many of her teeth.

Presence of spices and lichen on the head were first found in the 19th century when the head was unwrapped. The CT scans revealed that they are likely also located on the mummy's abdomen, a determination aided by this unwrapping.


Unknown, possibly natural causes.

External Links

Jarus, O. (2014, April 06). Ancient Egyptian Mummy Found With Brain, No Heart. Retrieved from

Jarus, O. (2014, April 06). Photos: 1,700-Year-Old Egyptian Mummy Revealed. Retrieved from

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