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and when thrown upon hot coals emits a thick smoke and disagreeable smell. When distilled, it gives an abundant oil; fat, and of a brown colour and fœtid odour. Exposed to the air, these mummies soon change, attract humidity, and become covered with an efflorescence of saline substances.
(2.) The mummies simply salted and dried are generally worse preserved than those filled with resins and bitumen. Their skin is dry, white, elastic, light, yielding no odour, and easily broken; and masses of adipocere are frequently found in them. The features are destroyed; the hair is entirely removed; the bones are detached from their connections with the slightest effort, and they are white like those of a skeleton. The cloth enveloping them falls to pieces upon being touched. These mummies are generally found in particular caves which contain great quantities of saline matters, principally the sulphate of soda.
Of the latter also several subdivisions may be made, according to the manner in which the bodies. were deposited in the tombs; and some are so loosely put up in bad cloths and rags, as barely to be separated from the earth or stones in which they have been buried. Some are more carefully enveloped in bandages, and arranged one over the other without cases in the same common tomb, often to the number of several hundred; a visit to one of which has been well described by Belzoni.* Some have certain peculiarities in the mode of
* Page 156. Vide Pettigrew, p. 39.
their preservation. In many the skulls are filled with earthy matter in lieu of bitumen; and some mummies have been prepared with wax and tanning, a remarkable instance of which occurs in that opened by Dr. Granville,— for a full account of which I refer the reader to his work descriptive of the body and its mode of preservation. I cannot, however, omit to mention a wonderful proof of the skill of the embalmers in this as in so many other instances, who, by means of a corrosive liquid, had removed the internal tegument of the skull, and still contrived to preserve the thin membrane below, though the heat of the embalming matter afterwards poured into the cavity had perforated the suture and scorched the scalp.
It has been a general and a just remark that few mummies of children have been discovered, a singular fact, not easily accounted for, since the custom of embalming those even of the earliest age was practised in Egypt.*
Greek mummies usually differed from those of the Egyptians in the manner of disposing the bandages of the arms and legs. The former had the arms placed at the sides, and bound separately; but the arms as well as the legs, and even the fingers of the Egyptians, were generally enclosed in one common envelop, without any separation in the bandages. In these last the arms were extended along the side, the palms inwards and resting on the thighs, or brought forwards over the groin;
* Vide Pettigrew, p. 73.
sometimes even across the breast; and occasionally one arm in the former, the other in the latter position. The legs were close together, and the head These different modes of arranging the limbs were common to both sexes, and to all ages; though we occasionally meet with some slight deviations from this mode of placing the hands. But no Egyptian is found with the limbs bandaged separately, as those of Greek mummies; though instances may occur of the latter having the arms enveloped with the body. Sometimes the nails and the whole hands and feet were stained with the red dye of the henneh*; and some mummies have been found with the face covered by a mask of cloth fitting closely to it, and overlaid with a coating of composition †, so painted as to resemble the deceased, and to have the appearance of flesh. But these are of rare occurrence, and I am unable to state if they are of an early Egyptian or Greek epoch. This last is most probable; especially as we find that the mummies which present the portrait of the deceased painted on wood, and placed over the face, are always of Greek time. Some remarkable instances of these are preserved in the collections of Europe; and one upon a coffin sent to England by Mr. Salt, which has been figured by Mr. Pettigrew, is now in the British Museum.
On the breast was frequently placed a scarabæus, in immediate contact with the flesh. These sca
* Lawsonia spinosa et inermis, Linn.
+ I have seen a very good specimen in the possession of Dr. Hogg.
rabai, when of stone, had their extended wings made of lead or silver; and when of blue pottery,
responding situation above, the same emblem was also placed, to indicate the protecting influence of the Deity; and in this last position it sometimes stood in the centre of a boat, with the Goddesses Isis and Nepthys on either side in an attitude of prayer.† On the outer cases the same place was occupied by a similar winged scarabæus, or the winged globe, or a hawk, or a ram-headed vulture or hawk, or both these last, or the same bird with the head of a woman, or by the Goddess Netpe; and sometimes a disk was supported by the beetle, having within it a hawk and the name of Re.
The subjects represented on the mummy cases differed according to the rank of the persons, the expense incurred in their decoration, and other circumstances; and such was their variety, that few resembled each other in every particular. I shall, therefore, in describing them, confine my
The two most usual forms of the scarabæi found in tombs are with the lower part as a flat level surface for bearing an inscription, or with the legs inserted there in imitation of nature. They have then a ring for suspending them, being probably intended for ornamental purposes, as necklaces and the like. Sometimes the head and thorax are replaced by a human face, and occasionally the body (or elytra) has the form of a royal cap.
+ Vide Pettigrew, Pl. 8. figs. 1, 2, 3.
remarks to their general character, and to the most common representations figured upon them.
In the first quality of mummies, the innermost covering of the body, after it had been swathed in the necessary quantity of bandages, was the cartonThis was a pasteboard case fitting exactly to its shape; the precise measure having been carefully taken, so that it might correspond to the body it was intended to cover, and to which it was probably adjusted by proper manipulation while still damp. It was then taken off again, and made to retain that shape till dry, when it was again applied to the bandaged body, and sewed up at the back. After this it was painted and ornamented with figures and numerous subjects: the face was made to imitate that of the deceased, and frequently gilded; the eyes were inlaid; and the hair of females was made to represent the natural plaits, as worn by Egyptian women.
The subjects painted upon the cartonage were the four Genii of Amenti, and various emblems belonging to Deities connected with the dead. On the breast was placed the figure of Netpe, with expanded wings, protecting the deceased; sacred arks, boats, and other things were arranged in different compartments; and Osiris Isis, Nepthys, Anubis, Sokari, and other Deities, were frequently introduced. In some instances, Isis was represented
* Osiris is sometimes introduced under the form of a vase or a peculiar emblem surmounted by two long feathers, and bound with a fillet. It is raised on a shaft, and over it are the names and titles of the God. Sokari was another form and character of Osiris. Vide Vol. I. (2d Series)