Mummy of a Baboon
This baboon mummy is seated with its knees drawn up to its chest, and its tail curving around the right side of its body. The monkey appears to have been mummified through an enlarged cut in the anal area rather than evisceration through enema; radiographs show that a series of large packets that appear to contain soil were inserted into the animal’s torso to help hold its original shape. Traces of resin, natron, and exterior bandages are still visible on the animal.
Although isolated cases of domestic animals mummified by their masters are known, perhaps to keep them at their side in the afterlife, most animal mummies had a votive function. Pilgrims visiting the temples offered to the deities mummified animals associated with them (Thoth/ibis or baboons, Bastet cats, Anubis/dogs, Sobek/crocodiles, Horus/hawks, etc.). Animal mummies would often be buried in necropolises specifically dedicated to them.
Recently, vast necropolises of mummified animals have been discovered. Tomographic scans offer new opportunities to study the methods used to embalm and preserve these relics, as well as provide important information for forming a map of Egyptian fauna.
Excavated by Mr. Theodore M. Davis in 1906 from Tomb (KV51) near the Tomb of Amenhotep II (KV35), Valley of the Kings, West Thebes. Organic remains, linen. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 38747; CG 29837