Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Massive mummy fraud discovered after 2,000 years
Modern medical science has exposed the villainy of the crocodile mummy sellers of Hawara, more than 2,000 years after they defied the edict of a Pharaoh and turned neatly bandaged bundles of rubbish into a nice little earner.
Before the reopening this month of the Egyptian Galleries at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, curators took their animal and human mummies to the city's Addenbrooke's Hospital, as part of a £1.5m re-display of the internationally renowned collection, which dates in part back to the founding of the museum in 1816.

Read the whole thing, even though there's not much there. It's commonly known that actual mummification quality in general declined later on, even though the wrappings and cartonnage became much more elaborate. The portraits also seem, in many cases, to represent the person inside as they appeared in their prime rather than at death (in some cases these were the same).