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Israel’s 2,200-year-old Egyptian Mummy to go on Exhibit

Israel’s national museum will for the first time display the country’s only mummy, who dates back 2,200 years. The mummy was kept for decades at a Jesuit institute in Jerusalem before it was loaned to the Israel Museum. It was given as a gift to the Jesuit Pontifical Biblical Institute in Jerusalem in the late 1920s by Jesuits in Alexandria, Egypt.

Originally from Akhmim, about 300 miles south of present-day Cairo, the mummy was encased in a gold and black coffin with a gold mask on top of its skull, and its body wrapped in strands of linen.

The mummy was a man who lived to between 30 and 40 years, which was at the time considered old age, and was originally 5ft 6in tall. Inscriptions on his coffin indicate that he was a priest.

Thanks to Egyptian embalming processes and Jerusalem’s dry climate, the mummy’s bones, teeth and remnants of blood vessels were found largely intact. A CT scan of the mummy found he suffered from the familiar health problems of tooth cavities and osteoporosis.


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