We are continuing to work on our mummy PUM I (more interesting details on him here) and last week, our new intern, Melissa Miller, and I removed a plastic bag that had been placed in his chest cavity, presumably after his autopsy in 1972.
In this plastic bag, we are finding large pieces of linen from his inner and outer wrappings-some of these pieces also bear impressions of the beaded shroud that once lay over his body.
It is evident that these pieces of fabric were cut away (and some probably fell off) and removed during the autopsy, and they were placed in this bag and then inside the chest to fill this area out a bit after the procedure.
In this process, we also decided to remove the upper portion of the wrappings over PUM I’s chest – they were completely cut off during the autopsy and then replaced, to make him look whole again. Once we determined we could safely lift them away from the rest of the body, we decided to go for it!
Removing this large segment of wrappings will allow us to better examine their condition, and also to examine the condition of the textile wrappings on the other side of the body, which are now partially visible. There are lots of other interesting, and unexpected things that we’re finding, and other great shots to share – we will continue to provide updates!