Egyptian Mummies as Anthropological Artifacts


  • Giovanni Bergamini Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage of Piedmont and the Egyptian Museum of Turin


mummies , anthropology , ICCD


Ancient human remains like Egyptian mummified bodies cannot be considered on a physical anthropological perspective only. So severe and invasive were the operations on the body, so various were the materials involved in the preservation techniques, so complicated was the embalming and wrapping procedure according to specific rituals, that the final result, the mummy, is to be considered a highly composite product. The human remains are a relevant part of it indeed, but a very wide set of information can be taken also from the other components, relating to environment, resources, technology, religious beliefs, cultural and technical traditions, skills and arts at the time of the individual’s life. That a plain anthropological approach could not be exhaustive on cataloguing such a kind of archaeological finds emerged during the sessions of the scientific board charged by the Italian ICCD of defining a data track for filing anthropological remains as a special kind of cultural heritage.