Skip Navigation

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)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER X1179.2
    CREDIT LINE Brooklyn Museum Collection
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
    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 (charges apply). 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 copyright@brooklynmuseum.org.
    CAPTION Shrew Mummy Bundle, 664-30 B.C.E. Animal remains (Crocidura flavescens, C. nana, C. olivieri, or C. religiosa), linen, 2 15/16 x 8 1/4 x 4 3/4 in., 1 lb. (7.5 x 21 x 12.1 cm, 0.45kg). Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Museum Collection, X1179.2. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, X1179.2_PS2.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, X1179.2_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.
    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.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS
    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.