There are many reasons why I love working at the Penn Museum, and this is one of them: just the other day, I was casually talking to some colleagues during a break, and mentioned that I’d love to get my hands on some elephant and giraffe hair to use as a reference to compare to some of the material included in our Predynastic mummy Bruce‘s bundle.
“What’s that you say?” quipped Egyptian Section Curator Dr. Jen Wegner. “Why it just so happens that we have a drawer with some elephant and giraffe hair down in storage!”. After working here for 9 months, this should come as no surprise to me. And what a delight – just the next day I ran down to storage and brought this drawer of goodies up to the lab.
In addition to the animal skins, this drawer also contains a small woven basket, made of either elephant or giraffe hair and dating to the early 18th Dynasty, according to it’s catalog card.
These materials will be useful to compare to the animal skins and the basket that we have documented in Bruce’s bundle. We will provide updates as we learn more about our Predynastic mummy and the materials he was buried with.