Mummified hawk - 910.169.20_2


Mummified hawk

Medium:Fibre and linen
Geography: Undetermined site, Egypt
Date: c. 664-332 BC
Period: 26th-30th Dynasty, Late Period
28 x 7.5 cm
Object number: 910.169.20
Not on view
DescriptionThe Ancient Egyptians mummified millions of animals and birds, but, perhaps because the reason behind this practice was so obvious to them, they never wrote down why they did it. Though some pets were mummified, most animal mummies were animals raised in temple precincts for eventual sacrifice and mummification. Specially chosen animals were the avatars of gods, such as the sacred hawk at Edfu or the Apis bull at Memphis. Most animals, however, may have been seen rather as heralds who entered the Afterlife grateful to the sponsor who paid for their care and feeding and embalming. They were very often given as Votive Offerings. Hawks, in particular, are represented by partial skeletons and sometimes bundles of feathers or even twigs. A beak protrudes through the wrappings of this example, giving assurance that there is some part of a bird, at least, in the bundle. No radiological examination as yet.
If you see an error or have additional information, please contact us by clicking here.