Thursday 6 October 2011

Beading 1069-525BC

This is something I have never seen before - whether it because they are rare, which they certainly are, or because I am not a mummy-trawler in museums - so it was a falling backwards moment when I saw this image. Australian archaeologists were exploring a tomb dating back 4,200 years belonging to a man believed to have been a tutor to the 6th Dynasty King Pepi II, when they moved a pair of statues and discovered a secret door. By this accident, they found a remarkably well-preserved mummy in a 2,500 year old tomb in a separate burial chamber. The chest of the mummy is swathed in turquoise blue beads and bound in strips of black. Most of the mummies of this period (about 500BC) have lost their beads.
Here you can see a reconstructed bead face mask from an Egyptian mummy of around the same period.

The main designs found on the mummy coverings are worked on an open mesh structure like the one above. It is composed of bright blue glazed faience beads, mostly long tubular type, but with some disc beads.
And if you would like to see one yourself, in the flesh (as I hesitate to say) you can see this beaded mummy of Nemenkhetamon (attributed to the Ancient Egyptian period of 1069-525 BC) at an exhibition, entitled Venezia e L Egitto (Venice and Egypt), at the Palazzo Ducale in Venice, Italy from 01 October 2011 to 22 January 2012.

1 comment:

  1. Of all the documentaries I've watched on archaeology I have never seen bead work like this. Thanks so much for sharing!