Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
The ideal votive animal mummy, as shown in the X-ray here, contains one animal wrapped in the linen package. Yet without an X-ray or CT scan, it is impossible to know whether an additional animal, or no animal at all, was included in the wrappings.
Egyptians of the first millennium b.c.e. believed that they could appeal to the god Thoth to intercede in human affairs. Ibis mummies allowed such a petitioner to send a message to the god.
Animal remains (female glossy ibis), linen
30 B.C.E.– 100 C.E.
Early Roman Period
4 3/4 × 3 5/8 × 12 3/4 × 14 1/2 in. (12.1 × 9.2 × 32.4 × 36.8 cm)
as mounted: 7 7/8 × 5 1/2 × 16 3/4 in. (20 × 14 × 42.5 cm) (show scale)
Gift of the Egypt Exploration Fund
This item is not on view
Ibis Mummy, 30 B.C.E.– 100 C.E. Animal remains (female glossy ibis), linen, 4 3/4 × 3 5/8 × 12 3/4 × 14 1/2 in. (12.1 × 9.2 × 32.4 × 36.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Egypt Exploration Fund, 14.652. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum (Gavin Ashworth,er), 14.652_Gavin_Ashworth_photograph.jpg)
overall, 14.652_Gavin_Ashworth_photograph.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph (Gavin Ashworth, photographer), 2012
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What is the ibis mummy
Hi! An ibis is a type of water bird with a long, curved beak. The ancient Egyptians associated them with Thoth, the god of wisdom and writing.
There were certain temples where the priests bred the birds specifically to be mummified and sold to the public for making donations to the god.
What did the ibis symbolize something that made them so popular?
Their long beak resembled the reed pens used by scribes, which is how they came to be associated with the god Thoth.