Full-length mummy shroud discovered after 80 years of storage

A folded full-length mummy shroud has been discovered after about 80 years in a museum collection the National Museum of Scotland. It is believed to be over 2000 years old.

Presentation of the shroud (by National Museum of Scotland)

The shroud was found wrapped in brown parcel paper, stored since the mid-1940s, with a note written by a past curator in a World War Two service envelope identifying the contents as having come from an ancient Egyptian tomb. After conservators gently humidified it so that the fibres became less dry and brittle it was carefully unfolded, which took 24 hours. The shroud comes from a Roman-era burial in a tomb originally built about 1290BC opposite the great city of Thebes, modern-day Luxor. A hieroglyphic inscription on the shroud revealed the identity of the owner to be the previously unknown son of the Roman-era high-official Montsuef and his wife Tanuat. The painting shows the deceased depicted as the god Osiris. In ancient Egypt, following mummification a shroud was often wrapped around the body before it was put in a coffin.  But in Roman-era Egypt, shrouds became increasingly important as the use of coffins became rarer.

Cleaning the shroud (by National Museum of Scotland)

(after BBC News & National Museum of Scotland)

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