Progress of the work: September 2005

 

The first excitement of September is the CT scanning of the Roman mummy, the cartonnage of Nahktefmut and the animal mummies. On a very hot Sunday the team transports them to Cambridge's Addenbrookes Hospital. We are very grateful to the hospital for arranging this and to the staff who have given so much of their own time to our project.

    Animal mummies from the Fitzwilliam Museum arriving at Addenbrookes Hospital

Roman mummy being prepared for CT-scanning at Addenbrookes Hospital

    Positioning the mummy case of Nakhtefmut

Mummy of a kitten being prepared for CT-scanning

   

During the scanning a series of cross-sectional images are obtained at tiny intervals along the whole length of the object, enabling detailed views from all angles to be created.

The tiny kitten mummy looks rather overwhelmed by the machnery.

The main purpose of the CT scanning session is to examine the Roman mummy and the animal mummies. But we also feel that the tantalising mysteries thrown up by the x-radiography of Nakhtefmut justified including him in the expedition. Not only might we gain insights into the original manufacture, but clarifying the way he has been restored in the past would help us make appropriate decisions about the future conservation and preservation of this important object.

 

Julie Unruh takes on the nested coffins of Pa-kepu. The coffins were discovered in a deep pit discovered in Thebes in 1868-9, but the exact location of this pit is now not known. The pit contained thirty coffins, some of which had been placed there for storage by the antiquities authorities in Egypt.

Ten of the coffins were placed in the Cairo Museum, but the remaining twenty were presented to the the then Prince of Wales, who gave the coffins of Pakepu to the University of Cambridge in 1869.

According to the titles on his coffins, Pakepu was a water carrier on west of Thebes. The coffins of his parents, Amenhotepini and Ireterau, were found in the same pit. They are now in Edinburgh and Oxford respectively.

    Julie Unruh working on the inner coffin of Pakepu

 

Getting a good look at the inner coffin of Nespawershefy

   

We are sad to say goodbye to Christina who finished her internship, but the good news is that we think she will be coming back to work for us on a free-lance basis for a while.

As part of the British Egyptology Congress, the conservators put on a series of seminars and studio tours so that delegates to the conference have a chance to see some of the investigation and conservation work and get up close and personal to objects such as the coffins that usually can only be seen through the glass of a showcase.

At the very end of September Julie Dawson and Lucy Skinner do a study morning for members of the public in the Museum's series 'Material Matters'. We look at the materials, tools and techniques used to make and decorate coffins and then everyone has the chance for a close inspection of the inner coffin of Nespawershefy.


The Fitzwilliam Museum : . September 2005

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