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Mummification Bandage of Userwer
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Mummification Bandage of Userwer

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description Linen bandages were used during the mummification process from the Late through the Ptolemaic period, ca. 6th-2nd centuries BCE. They were usually decorated with spells and sometimes vignettes from the "Book of the Dead" in order to deliver the desired magical protection for the deceased. The practice of placing inscribed bandages directly on the body of the dead person was essential to securing a good life for the deceased in the Netherworld. This small strip of fabric is woven of high-quality linen and belongs to the well-known object group of inscribed mummification bandages. The originally light beige linen is now discolored to a darker brown. Both side ends of the bandage are lost and irregularly torn off. The original length is unknown, but might have extended to ¾ of an Egyptian cubit (= 39.15 cm = 15 3/8 in.). The inscription is composed in hieratic script and rendered in black ink (made of soot mixed with gelatin, gum, and bee wax); the color has slightly faded. The text consists of three lines; the beginnings and ends of the sentences are missing; but the losses seem to be minor judging by content and grammar.
Date Description Narrative
7/23/2013Examinationcleaned; examined for exhibition
  • Egypt’s Mysterious Book of the Faiyum. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2013-2014.
Provenance [Found in the cemetery of Giza by an expedition of Egyptian archaeologists in the 1950s]; Professor Dr. Abd el Monem Abubakr, Cairo, Giza University, 1950s, by discovery; Professor Dr. Hans Goedicke, Baltimore, 1957, by official gift [for his assistance in the deciphering of some texts from the excavation at Giza]; Walters Art Museum, 2009, by gift.
Inscriptions [Translation] (1) (…who satisfies) the Two Gods, the count, chief, treasurer, unique friend, priest of Isis of Coptos, priest of Osiris, Min-Horus (…) (2) (…) May you grant the sweet breath to Wsir-wer of Netjeru-of-the-North, who satisfies the Two Gods, the count, chief, treasurer, (unique) friend (…) (3) (…May you grant the) sweet (breath) to Wsir-wer of Netjeru-of-the-North, who satisfies the Two Gods, the count, chief, treasurer, unique friend (…)
Credit Gift of Dr. Hans Goedicke, 2009

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ca. 399-343 BCE (Late Period, 29th-30th dynasty)
black ink on linen
Accession Number
H: 2 9/16 × W: 11 1/4 in. (6.5 × 28.5 cm)
  • Egypt, Giza (Place of Origin)
  • Egypt, Cemetery of Giza (Place of Discovery)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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