I swear, sometimes I think we’re just trying to outdo ourselves. There has been a whirlwind of activity lately – in the museum, in the conservation department, and in the Artifact Lab. Between “finding” a 6500 year-old skeleton in storage, to moving into our new conservation suite, it’s been so busy that I haven’t been very good about writing updates (but I promise to post some of the stuff about our new digs and equipment on the blog soon). Just when I thought things were settling down, this mysterious crate showed up at my door:
Okay, so at this point, it wasn’t a complete mystery – I knew what was in that crate (more or less) because last summer, some brave souls in the Egyptian Section managed to get this crate down from a very high shelf in storage. Once it was down, they found this note pinned to the top of the box:
Well, hello, Wilfred. As you can see, the team was very happy with themselves afterward, even if they had to get a little dirty in the process.
So who/what is Wilfred, exactly? Well, inside the crate we found this:
It’s an old, dirty mattress, with a wooden stick resting on top. And inside that mattress, we found…
A mummy! A badly damaged, but nonetheless very well-preserved mummy.The upper half of the body is where most of the damage is visible, exposing the human remains underneath, while the lower half appears pretty well-wrapped.
Today, my colleagues and I hoisted Wilfred out of the crate onto a temporary support. Here is what he looks like, sitting out on a table in the lab:
And there’s more. But I won’t write any more about him in this post, except to say that no, this isn’t the first time he’s been studied since coming to the museum in 1911 (he was x-rayed in the 1930s), but it is the first time that any of us here at the museum are really getting a good look at him.
There will be much more to follow…so stay tuned!