Mummy of the Priest Ankhhor

The Egyptian priest Ankhhor lived around 650 BC. He worked in the temple dedicated to Montu, a war god who was venerated in Thebes, the religious center of Ancient Egypt. The priests of Montu were interred in mass graves, most of which were discovered in the 19th century. Ankhhor was mummified according to the ‘fashion’ of his day. His body was wrapped in several meters of linen bandages and a shroud. These coverings were kept tightly bound around the body with the aid of five transverse strips of cloth and another strip stretched lengthwise. The two strips crossing above the chest are a reference to Osiris, the god of the underworld.

Mummy of the Priest Ankhhor
Mummy of the Priest Ankhhor

Over the cloth strips lies a net with blue faience beads, blue being an allusion to heaven. On the chest lies a winged scarab (dung beetle), a symbol of rebirth. Below this, the four sons of the god Horus are depicted in the form of mummies. These are the gods of the four points of the compass and of the four kinds of entrails that have been removed from the body during the mummification process. Ankhhor’s mummy was enclosed within three nested wooden coffins (the outermost one rectangular, the inner two mummy-shaped), all of which also ended up in Leiden.

Late Period, 26th Dynasty, around 650-625 BC. Now in the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Leiden.

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