Mummy of Ankh Hor

Originally Egyptologists at the museum thought that the mummy of Ankh Hor was untouched, but recent x-rays found modern pins and clips. A re-examination of the cartonnage revealed that it had been cut, re-sealed and painted over. Although no one knows why it was opened, it is possible that Victorian researchers started to unwrap Ankh Hor and then changed their minds.

Ankh Hor – meaning ‘life to the god Horus’ – was a priest of Amun. The quality of the casing and the fact that he has been so well preserved means he must have been a man of importance. On the outer coffin text and pictures show the gods helping Ankh Hor in his journey to the next world.

Mummy of Ankh Hor
Mummy of Ankh Hor. Photo: Mark Williamson

However, experts were able to confirm they never went all the way, as amulets – including model eyebrows and what appears to a statue of Osiris in place of the heart – can be seen undisturbed inside the wrappings, and all the bones are intact. King George V presented Ankh Hor to Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery in 1928; before that he had been at Sandringham.

During the 26th Dynasty of Egypt, mummification practices continued to be an important part of the funerary rituals.

The process of mummification during this period followed similar techniques and principles as in earlier dynasties. It involved the removal of internal organs, desiccation of the body using natron, and wrapping the body in linen bandages.

The goal of mummification was to preserve the deceased’s body for the afterlife, as the ancient Egyptians believed in the concept of an afterlife and the importance of maintaining the physical form.

The 26th Dynasty saw a continuation of these traditional mummification practices, reflecting the enduring cultural and religious beliefs of ancient Egypt.

Late Period, 26th Dynasty, ca. 664-525 BC. From the Tomb of Ankh Hor (TT414), El-Assasif, West Thebes. Now in the Norwich Castle, Norfolk, UK. 1928.146