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Shrew Mummy Bundle

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Shrews and ichneumons both prey on snakes and therefore won the Egyptians’ admiration and worship. Though snakes could turn their powers to protecting kings and queens, serpents also threatened the sun god Re on his journey through the next world. Egyptian religion made room for both the positive and negative aspects of certain animals.

The shrew mummy bundle shows that more than one animal was sometimes included in one package.
MEDIUM Animal remains (Crocidura flavescens, C. nana, C. olivieri, or C. religiosa), linen
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES 664-30 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 26, or later
    PERIOD Late Period to Ptolemaic Period
    DIMENSIONS 2 15/16 x 8 1/4 x 4 3/4 in., 1 lb. (7.5 x 21 x 12.1 cm, 0.45kg)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CREDIT LINE Brooklyn Museum Collection
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Mummy bundle containing shrews. It consists of a rectangular bundle wrapped in dark brown textiles. The exterior textile components consist of multiple layers of brown stained linen(?) textiles and threads. Narrow strips of linen remain which likely secured a larger piece of linen fabric beneath are present. Vertical and horizontal threads are visible and appear to secure the linen fabric. Condition: The mummy bundle is overall in fragile, unstable condition. The surface of the mummy bundle is in poor, unstable condition. There are major losses in the original linens; the outermost wrapping is mostly missing.
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