Mummified Falcon

This mummified falcon is covered with an intricate pattern of wrappings done in natural and dyed brown linen. The details of the face and head of the bird have been rendered in paint over a white gesso ground. The falcon was identified from the earliest times with the sun god Horus and the reigning king, who was his manifestation on earth. The raptor was also associated with a number of other gods, including Ra-Horakhty, Sokar, Montu, and various regional forms of Horus. Deposits of falcon mummies have been found at Buto, Giza, Saqqara, Abydos, and Kom Ombo.

Many species of animals were mummified in later periods of Egyptian history. These were not pets, but sacred animals that were raised in temple precincts. The animals were sacrificed, mummified almost as elaborately as humans, and offered in the temples by pious pilgrims as a substitute for more expensive bronze votives. When a sufficient number had collected in the temple, the animal mummies would be buried by the priests in sacred animal cemeteries. Included were cats and dogs, ibises and falcons, and even fish, snakes and shrews.

Mummified Falcon
Mummified Falcon

Late Period, 26th Dynasty to 30th Dynasty, ca. 664-332 BC. Now in the Michael C. Carlos Museum. 1958.063