Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
The Egyptians offered crocodile mummies to the god Sobek to request his help with life’s daily problems. Juvenile crocodiles were used in this practice because the full-grown adults were so dangerous.
The ancient Greek historian Herodotus devoted two chapters of his history of Egypt to crocodile worship. For the Greeks, this was an especially exotic element of Egyptian religion.
Animal remains (Nile crocodile, Crocodylus niloticus), linen
Ptolemaic Period, or later
1 3/8 x 3/4 x 12 in. (3.5 x 1.9 x 30.5 cm) (show scale)
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
The object is a small mummified Nile crocodile wrapped in linens. There is no coffin associated with the body. The beige, linen wrappings, which seem to be bands of linen as opposed to sheets, are disorderly.
This animal is likely a Nile crocodile (crocodiles niloticus) since this is the only species of crocodile found in Egypt today. Its tiny size suggests that it is a juvenile. The fact that the crocodile was young when it was mummified suggests that it is a votive mummy. This type of mummy was given as a votive offering at shrines of specific gods, in this case Sobek.
Condition: The object is in fair and moderately stable condition.
This item is not on view
Crocodile Mummy, 305-30 B.C.E. Animal remains (Nile crocodile, Crocodylus niloticus), linen, 1 3/8 x 3/4 x 12 in. (3.5 x 1.9 x 30.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.1365E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 37.1365E_view2_PS2.jpg)
overall, 37.1365E_view2_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2008
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.