IV in 1903 led to a new line of enquiry for Elliot
Smith (Smith 1903b) and the beginning of a study of considerable importance to
the future of anthropology and Egyptology. Although others had unrolled and
studied ancient Egyptianmummies before, there were few who had approached
this as a scientific study. The use of radiology to study Tuthmosis IV was not
the first time a mummy had been X-rayed (William Flinders Petrie X-rayed a
mummy in 1897: Petrie 1898), but it was the first time this had been done as
part of a thorough scientific investigation, providing an
An investigation into the connection between veterinary and medical practice in ancient Egypt
), ‘How domestic animals have shaped the development of the
human species’, in L. Kalof (ed.), A Cultural History of Animals in Antiquity (Oxford
and New York: Berg), 71–96.
Collier, M. and Quirke, S. (2004), The UCL Lahun Papyri: Religious, Literary, Legal,
Mathematical and Medical (Oxford: Archaeopress).
David, R. (2008), ‘The International Ancient EgyptianMummy Tissue Bank’, in
R. David (ed.), EgyptianMummies and Modern Science (Cambridge and New York:
Cambridge University Press), 237–46.
David, R. (2013), ‘Ancient Egyptian medicine: the contribution of twenty
water was involved in the process of preservation, the results of immersion were not constant or predictable.
Such observations led these authors to make comparisons with other well-preserved remains – the Grewelthorpe Moor bog body was described as ‘tanned and dried in a remarkable manner, somewhat like an Egyptianmummy’ (Lukis 1892 : ix). Leigh ( 1700 : 64) (who noted almost in passing the discovery of bodies ‘entire and uncorrupted’ from the bogs of Cheshire and Lancashire) notes the peculiar power of a ‘bituminous Turf’ from Hasil (near Ormskirk) that was
they remained distinct
from the rest of the collection, their fame (or infamy) rendering them iconic. These
included such notable quadrupeds as Mr Potter’s cow, last individual of a herd of
white polled cattle in Lancashire, and ‘Vizier’, Napoleon’s Arabian charger.25 The
cotton merchants William and Robert Garnett donated sarcophagi housing the
mummified remains of ‘Asroni’ (later ‘Asru’), a royal maid of honour, thereby providing the Ancient Egyptianmummy that was ubiquitous in British collections from
the seventeenth century onwards.26 More unusually, the
Center in Egypt 43, 113–27.
David, R. (2008), ‘The ancient Egyptian medical system’, in R. David (ed.), EgyptianMummies and Modern Science (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University
Dawson, W. R. (1967), ‘The Egyptian medical papyri’, in D. Brothwell and A. T.
Sandison (eds.), Diseases in Antiquity: A Survey of the Diseases, Injuries and Surgery of Early
Populations (Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas), 98–111.
Dupoirieux, L. (1999), ‘Ostrich eggshell as a bone substitute: a preliminary report of
its biological behaviour in animals – a possibility
Manchester, however, Dawkins found few ethnological objects
in the Natural History Society collections that met his approval. He was seeking
representative specimens rather than oddities, and the ‘curiosities’ in Peter Street
were by definition were extra-ordinary. After the sale of most of them, only the
Ancient Egyptianmummy Asru and a handful of ethnological pieces remained to
be transferred to Owens College. Although few in number, these items nevertheless
occupied the crucial hinge point of his planned arrangement of the Manchester
Museum. In the 1870s Dawkins had
was honed by his scientific training to report on both the detail and causes of their preservation, for the audience for whom he was writing: the Royal Society. He lived at a time of increasing experimentation with embalming methods and when other well-preserved bodies were the subject of scholarly discourse and acquisition: the saintly remains that opened this chapter, lime-encrusted Romans from stone sarcophagi or the Egyptianmummies that were also unwrapped on the autopsy tables (Riggs 2014 ). As Balguy records, after the initial curiosity of reopening the
Periodically a serpent or
crocodile would escape, but no (recorded) harm came to visitors or beasts.142
The popularity of the live animals was equalled only by the ancient Egyptian
human remains, which like the vivarium were viewed by more than 80 per cent of
those of visited in 1974 – just as the Egyptianmummies were arguably the most
Visitors: audiences and objects
popular archaeological items at the British Museum, so too in Manchester.143
Kathleen Wright visited the Museum in 1924, and still remembered the mummies
vividly more than eight decades later: