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- Date of production Late Period or Ptolemaic era (743–30 BC)
- Place of creation el-Ashmunein
- Dimensions height: 3.5 + 7.5 cm, length: 52.4 cm, width: 19.5 cm
- ID no. MAK/AS/1696
- Object copyright Archaeological Museum in Kraków
- Digital images copyright public domain
- Digitalisation RDW MIC, Małopolska's Virtual Museums Plus project
“Pseudo-mummy”, formed of Nile silt mixed with resin and germinating seeds, molded and then wrapped in linen bandages. Silver mask with traces of gilding in the place of the face. Eyes marked with drawn out corners, eyebrows painted brown, small nose and prominent ears. The crown of Upper Egypt on its head and a hole for the beard in the chin. Silver masks, unlike the waxen ones, are extremely rare in this kind of objects.more
“Pseudo-mummy”, formed of Nile silt mixed with resin and germinating seeds, molded and then wrapped in linen bandages. Silver mask with traces of gilding in the place of the face. Eyes marked with drawn out corners, eyebrows painted brown, small nose and prominent ears. The crown of Upper Egypt on its head and a hole for the beard in the chin. Silver masks, unlike the waxen ones, are extremely rare in this kind of objects. Beside the two Cracow ones, there is only one known from the Fine Arts Museum in Budapest (Reg. No. 60.22). Raven is probably right in suggesting that this was a local custom – once the mask had been gilded it was no different from the waxen ones. The mummy rested in an anthropoid coffin with the head of a falcon and details painted linearly in yellow. The bird wore a striped wig and had a necklace made up of a chapel with an ibis inside it, flanked with plants growing from vases, terminating in two falcon's heads with solar discs at the top. Kneeling below this is a goddess with spread wings and a solar disc on her head. In her hand she holds an ostrich feather also with solar discs. Three columns of hieroglyphic inscriptions are placed below the representations:
1) Spell by Osiris, 2) Wennefer, the great god, 3) given all life, stability and domination like Re, forever.
The attributes, which corn mummies are equipped with, like the waxen masks, crown, scepter and whip, and the phallus, allow them to be linked with the Osiriac ritual. Germinating seeds were meant to symbolize the resurrection of the god and by the same the eternal revival of nature. A text from the early Roman period (based on older sources) from the chapel of Osiris in the temple of Hathor at Dendera contains instructions for making the corn mummies that played an important role in the annual feast of the god. After the ceremonies, one of the mummies was buried in the necropolis or in a tomb made especially for the purpose. In one of these tombs in Karnak numerous waxen figurines of Osiris were discovered, serving the same cult function. Corn mummies are infrequently represented in museum collections; those that are known to have come from Upper Egypt were mostly acquired on the market.
Elaborated by Krzysztof Babraj (Archaeological Museum in Kraków), editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums, translated by Iwona Zych, © all rights reserved