Sample Essay on Egyptian Mummies

Egyptian Mummies

Introduction

Mummies are the most valued artifacts in Egypt due to the religious, artistic and financial prize. This study compares two Egyptian mummies to the King Tut mummies. The two Egyptian mummies are from the Lowe Art Museum, on loan from the Bass Art Museum. Comparison is likewise made on the mummies and other funeral objects like the Neolithic pieces and the Etruscan sarcophagi. Review is besides made on the Early Christian Sarcophagi.

Background

The Egyptian mummies were brought to the Museum in Miami for more cultural attractions (Soul of Miami, 2). Tourists have been flocking in to explore the wonders of the primeval Egypt and learn more about the history of the mummies. Bass Art Museum exhibits artillery from renaissance to contemporary art. Positioned in the neighborhood of cultural center, it hosts diverse institutions, which create more sites that are attractive for the tourists. One mummy is swaddled in a crisscrossing fabric, while the other is in a coffin. The swaddled mummy is that of a man while the other in a coffin is of a child believed to have existed in the 26th to 30th dynasty. Other than mummification, CT scan, X-rays and other examinations done on the bodies reveal the lifestyle of the mummies prior to their death. In addition, the wall text and the artistic writings exhibit the cultural contribution of the person when still alive.

These two mummies were obtained from Lowe art museum at the University of Miami. They are assumed to have existed in the seventh to fourth century BCE. The coffin of a child initially spent decades in Wynwood warehouse before being transported to the museum in a wooden sarcophagus (Khan, 7). This particular mummy and its sarcophagus include Egyptian artillery being displayed in the museum as loans from the Lowe Art Museum. Despite its age, the artifact’s hieroglyphic paintings gleam due to the renovations done on it.

King Tut mummy is that of the boy who became king at nine years and died aged nineteen. Unlike other pharaoh mummies, this mummy was hidden for long due to theories behind his death. Archaeologist Howard Carter discovered his tomb around 1922 with crammed treasures like jewelry, girded shrines and the funerary mask. His hidden name made it impossible for grave robbers to site his tomb, which was vast with Egyptian wealth and culture.

According to the Egyptian customs, objects were significant in the funerary rites. They served the role of enabling the deceased continue to live in the other world. All natives who passed through the rites had to be accompanied by the objects. These included amulets to protect life, canopic jars, censers, coffins, models, labels, masks and statutes. Everyone was expected to afford this magic as they were highly essential among others.

Similarities

These mummies revolve around mysteries as they are ambiguous due to their source of discovery and the age of the young child (Suarez De Jesus, 5). Travellers first discovered these mummies in the shallow sands of Egypt donated some parts like the hands to the museum. The cause of their deaths is besides mysterious. The King died prematurely at a young age whereas the other mummies’ death are unknown. Despite technological advancements, the cause of deaths of the mummies remains a hypothesis. After close examination of the first mummy at the Mount Sinai Medical Center, the CT scan showed that the man died at the age of 30 either from severe arthritis or from spine curvature. A broken pelvis is assumed the cause of his death and the teeth are amazingly in good condition, revealing a phantom grin in the x-ray. This realization forms another exhibit, attracting more audience. From the examination, it is believed that the man was about 69 inches tall and was a skilled artisan whose days were majorly spent on physical toil. The death of the baby is however unknown despite premature deaths of the babies in Egypt in that era.

The objects are displayed for education because child coffin was donated to the museum for learning of the technological advancements in art. The man is believed to be buried in the sand with little craft on the linen other than the color and the mummification. The child  has artillery drawings on the coffin to depict the innocence and after life of the child. It is believed that the child had little economic activities and thus the coffin is painting in a simple color with minimal artwork. The king’s mummy on the other hand had its tomb together with tools of service all painting in bright yellow colors and crafted with the best artists. Numerous objects depict the kind of materials used in the period since most of the pots are of clay while other objects have been carved to depict that papyrus had not yet been discovered.

These mummies attract worldwide attention due to the rich Egyptian cultural practices. Scrutiny of the mummies in Miami attracts more viewers due to the associated costs taken when the mummies are to be viewed in Egypt (Suarez De Jesus, 3).  Just as the Egyptian mummies, the King Tut mummy was internationally famous. First, its numerous wealth, which was found hidden in his tomb, made it peculiar due to the widespread tomb robbery in Egypt. Second, the discovery of the tomb and its associated culture made Egypt become the focus of the artillery and culture.

Among the objects found in the body, include the amulets, as they were magic instrumental in the final destination and judgment of the person. Everybody undergoing mummification had a heart amulet and another amulet covered with the linen for breaking of the spells. These amulets are realized in all these mummies as part of the funeral rites. These amulets are artistic as they hold aesthetic value to the mortals.

Contrasts

The mummified body at the Bass Museum was displayed in a glass cover with beautiful wrappings of blue linen strips and pale blue stitches. The linen has maintained its vibrant color and partly covered the face. The wrappings is believed to be related to the god Osiris. Although the mummy has a shriveled cadaver, the man is believed to have had a longer height than for normal Egyptians of his time. Although the man was not a member of the nobility, he managed to acquire a spiffy coffin. He preferred the form of burial of Isiris, the god of the afterworld. The main purpose of the sarcophagus of this mummy was for protection and transportation of the transformed spirit to the sun god. The head of the coffin resembles the image of the scarab beetle to symbolize the rebirthing process of the body as several images of the falcon gods on the casket, signifying the form the sun assumes when moving on the realms. Other images include preparations, which the natives took when they were to commence their eternal journey. These symbolize foodstuffs and other tools for sustenance of the other world.  Through this mummy, mysterious rituals, culture and beliefs are introduced to the viewers.

The mummies were discovered in different places and at different times. The King Tut’s mummy was discovered in its tomb together with the cultural artillery and funerary artifacts whereas the other mummies have existed in different places, in 1922. Additionally, these mummies lack the funeral objects believed to be buried with the body to be used in the other world. Other than technological advancements, it was difficult for the researchers to note the daily activities of the male mummy. This is attributed to the missing tools of work he was supposed to be buried with for future life. The king was buried with all the expected artilleries to rule in the other world. There is also the object was communication beside King Tut’s mummy to assist him transit into the other world. This is missing in the other mummies in addition to mummified fetuses, presumably, his children.

The mummy of King Tut had additional funerary objects. He was found buried in a tomb with a coffin. Besides his were jars of food, sticks and other objects he was to use in after life. These comprised of amulets, especially made for the Kingly status, censers, sarcophagus, labels in a wooden tablet and the kingly masks (Khan, 9). These objects were valuable for maintenance of the customs and funerary rites and assistance to the king  to traverse into his other world. Other than these objects, a model of a man to assist every soul traverse in the other life was included for everybody. These tools were essential to depict the architectural expertise of the natives in that period. Since the king was found in his tomb, other valuable objects like his golden masks were found in the tomb. These objects were designed in different forms by the best architectures and thus attract more tourists for further studies.

There is a great variation of the mummies from the original physique. The mummies are expected to be darkening after exposure to light. This is contradicting the color of the mummies after discoveries. It is uncertain whether the humans were of this color before they died as the mummy of the king resembles that of the Albinos and not Egyptian statutes and his relatives. He had a black skin with elongated face and a feminized look. However, its identity remains true as his tomb is the only one that was discovered closed. Additionally, there was the golden mask near the stone tomb.

Early Christian Sarcophagi

A Christian sarcophagi is a Christian sculptor containing inscriptions related to early Christianity teachings. Just as the Egyptian sarcophagi, these sarcophagi have inscriptions highlighting the rites of passage, teachings on Christian walk and different scenes in the life of a Christian (Hall, 78). The different scenes and themes in the sarcophagi could depict the life of a person. A successful farmer would have different scenes depicted varied seasons of farming and his tools. Kings sarcophagi  depicts varied scenes and family portrait in the frames. It is from the sarcophagi that the portrait and the real image of the king and the noble members could be derived. For instance, in the case if King Tut, his sarcophagi depicted a king with an arrow in a sitting position. This is unlike the kingly posture of the time which depicted the king on s standing position. The image further implies that King Tut may have been unwell or he may have been relying on a stick for walking. It is thus believed that the broken bone on his leg was a disability he had before he died. In both the Egyptian and the Christian Sarcophagi, similar techniques were applied in different layouts to show their Supreme beings. The Christian has framed scenes in two tiers. The sarcophagi had primarily similar roles of burying the bodies of highly significant people in the society. Among the Egyptians, it was used to bury the kings and the members of the noble families while in Christianity, it was used t bury significant personalities. Different themes are designed on the frames. In all these forms of sarcophagus, highest quality of expertise is applied due to their significance.

Unlike the Christian sarcophagi, the Egyptian sarcophagi had the image of the god Osiris painted and designed on it. The sarcophagus was believed in Egypt to transport the person into the other world for another life. in the Christian sarcophagi, both the old and the new testaments have been embraced in the iconography. Fewer features of the antique sculpturing style can be perceived in the early Christian models, unlike for the Egyptians. Unlike in previous forms, sculptures of the early Christian sarcophagi break all the formal relief rules. Some of these have a frontal portrait while others object this rule (Hall, 80). In others, three-dimensional scenes with a background and a width are realized in the Christian sarcophagi. In addition, these later objects drapery hangs which show varied human forms instead of the presupposed folds of varied people. These later objects depict the Hellenists style in combination toe the Roman as it is depicted by the high proportions of the objects. The figures are thus cast on the background of shadow with a uniform and darker color. Thus there are more attachments of the beautiful ideas in the present Christian sarcophagi  than is depicted in the Egyptian sarcophagi. The Christian sarcophagi are additionally a depiction of regeneration of style and social class as these Christian sarcophagi are mostly found among the upper class in terms of monetary and stylistic class.

Conclusion

Mummies are highly valued as they enable the present generation understand and learn the background of the Egyptians and way of life in the past. Comparison between the two Egyptian mummies to the King Tut mummies depict that they had amulets which served as protective gears and beauty. These objects show disparity in the generations and social culture. The king was buried later and thus had a tomb together with beautiful and valuable artifacts. The discovery on the male mummy was earlier than for the child. These mummies are thus objects of historic education. The mummies were also derived from diverse locations for public scrutiny. The king’s mummy was found in 1922 in its tomb while the other two were loaned and donated respectively.

Works Cited

Khan, M. Eve. “Bringing out the Mummies at the Bass Museum: The New York Times. 2010,

30th April.

Soul of Miami. Egyptian Gallery Opening at Bass Museum of Art 4/29/10. 2010 2nd April.

Egyptian Gallery Opening at Bass Museum of Art 4/29/10

Suarez De Jesus Carlos. “Egyptian Mummy Finds Home at Bass Museum in Miami Beach:

Miami New Times. 2010, 6th May.

http://www.miaminewtimes.com/arts/egyptian-mummy-finds-home-at-bass-museum-in-miami-beach-6366964

Hall, James. A History of Ideas and Images in Italian Art, Londo