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Cartonnage: E.103b.1911

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 19




Mummy cartonnage, gilt, separate casing for feet. The foot case has some surface damage around the edges and on the upper section of the front panel. There are stains of a resinous material that appears to be ancient on the bottom and the sides.

The bottom of the foot-case is decorated with two bound and naked captives: a Libyan on the left and an Asiatic on the right. The two are tethered together by a chain. The Libyan is identified by his shoulder-length hair, curled at the end, and his long beard. He stands on his right foot, his left leg is raised and bound to the back of his right thigh and the arms are held together at his back and tied together at the top. The Asiatic can be identified by his short wig and pointed beard. He stands facing the Libyan but is bound in a different way: his wrists are tied behind his back and his right leg is raised and tied in front of him to his left thigh. These people were two of the traditional enemies of Egypt. Their image trampled underfoot was initially reserved for royal iconography but by the Roman period the motif was common on the foot cases of private individuals. Between the two captives is a rectangular panel decorated with a floral motif.

The front of the foot-case is divided into panels decorated with rosettes, lozenges and wedjat-eyes with a central lotus flower and bud motif. At the top are two gold feet, a reference to the use of gold in the embalming process, and two bands perhaps representing the lower section of a garment. Some examples of foot-cases show the sandals but on this particular example the feet are bare. The feet are surrounded by cross-hatching, decorated in diagonal bands of black, pink, blue and white pigment.

The mummy to which the foot-case belongs was found by Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie during his excavations at Hawara in the Faiyum. It was placed within a two-room tomb with five other bodies, a further two being placed one on top of the other in a smaller chamber. Petrie wrote in his publication of the finds: '[Grave] F was a unique burial with cartonnage head-piece unusually large, having a wreath of loose leaves of gilt canvas and green berries between them, in the hands a red wreath and a candle. The rhombic bandage was in five layers with gilt buttons, and two rows of buttons on the chest. The foot-case was gilt. (Cambridge).' The cartonnage torso and head is also preserved in the Fitzwilliam Museum (E.107a.1911). The whereabouts of the mummy with its 'rhombic' dressings is unknown and it may have been left on the site.

Measurements and weight

Length: 25.3 cm
Thickness: 14.5 cm

Find spot

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1911) by The Egyptian Exploration Fund


-0030 - 100

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Identification numbers

Accession number: E.103b.1911
Primary reference Number: 51331
Oldadmincategory: SS
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Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 11 March 2021 Last processed: Wednesday 13 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Antiquities

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Cartonnage" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-24 09:04:33

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