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  • Chris Elliott

A Mummy Fragment in the British Library

A few years ago, I was in the British Library looking at an account in the Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archaeology for 1876 of a mummy unrolling by Samuel Birch, of the British Museum. After the unrolling, the mummy was donated to the Hunterian Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons. Along with much of the College’s collections, it was destroyed by bombing during the Second World War.

Having finished the article, I checked the Contents for the issue to see if there was anything else of interest, and one entry caught my eye. Could it be what I thought it was? I turned to the relevant page, and there, bound into (presumably) each issue of the journal, was a fragment of dark brown linen about 3 cm by 2 cm, which the caption informed me was a “Specimen of Mummy Cloth, Saturated with spices and bitumen From the mummy of Nebset Unrolled at Stafford House 15th July 1875”. Maybe all that now remains of him.


Chris Elliott is the Author of Egypt in England, a guide to and study of Egyptian style architecture in England, and is currently researching a doctoral thesis on Cleopatra's Needles. Chris kindly provided us with a picture of the fragment he discovered.

1 Comment

Agatha P
Agatha P
Oct 07, 2021

Good reading this posst

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