Roman Period from Egypt: Mummy of Artemidora
The mummy of Artemidora dated from 90- 100 A.D. shown in Gallery 138 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which holds artifacts of Egypt under Roman rule, is from the Egyptian civilization. The official definition of mummy is a deceased human or animal whose skin and organs have been preserved by either intentional or accidental exposure to chemicals, extreme cold, very low humidity, or lack of air, so that the recovered body does not decay further if kept in cool and dry conditions. The process of mummification which took approximately 70 days, was done by the Egyptians because of their belief in an after life. Having an intact body was one of the prerequisites of achieving after life. In most cases mummies were buried with precious objects and offerings according to the Reshafim, a website that specializes in ancient Egypt and its culture these objects “served to enable the deceased to continue his existence in the beyond, some were tools with which the corpse was made ready for burial and the afterlife, others were grave goods which the deceased could use. which they could take with them to the after life to please the gods”.
The Egyptian and greek mummy of Artemidora measures 196 cm by 53 cm and is placed horizontally in a glass box in the middle of the gallery. This mummy also has a conventional Greek funerary inscription much like tombstones today. According to the records of the MET the tombstone states, that Artemidora the daughter of Harpokras the god of silence who died at aged 27 which C.A.T scans also confirmed was buried there. The mummy is mostly made of plaster carefully decorated with paint and many gold details. If you start at the top you can see the young woman’s painted face surrounded with what seem to be thick black courts embellished by gold details in an organized pattern her skin is tanned and her face is defined. She is posed with her arms above her chest and dressed in a red tunic and a long gold necklace. Along with the necklace you can see matching gold bracelets in both wrists. If you keep going down through the front part of the long brown simple plastic body of the mummy you begin to notice six evenly placed long horizontal lines made of small gold triangles. These eventually lead to the end of the body in a raised figure where the feet would be, that is adorned with two gold detailed characters and one big horizontal gold line. Just by the form of the mummy which is definitely the most simple part of it you can see the immense amount of detail and preciseness that this object possess from this you can infer that this specific deceased was very important or at least very loved. On each side of the mummy you can see three differed gold human like figures that are all doing what appear to be different types of things. When you get to the back of the head of the mummy where the most detail is concentrated you see a change in color and in composition. Unlike the rest of the mummy which is simply laid with very minuscule and subtle details of gold and only some small figures spread around, the back part of the head had many columns and human figures surrounded by what looks like red and blue paint. The back part is divided into three parts the first being a blue and red artifact which consists of one main blue ball like form and a small red one surrounded by two geometrically gridded wings. Divided by a very detailed patterned line is the second part of the back part which has a blue back ground and main part composed of a symmetrical design made up of gold creatures with wings and a person bowing in the middle. Lastly the biggest part of the back part of the head is surrounded by the color read and it is the one that contains the most gold and the greatest amount of detail. Contrary to the other parts it has an asymmetrical design that is made up of gods and humans which seem to be facing each other and end with another patterned line. This object which seems to be so simple and which was made for such a conventional purpose is immensely beautiful and all inclusive, if you see closely you can see gods and humans which is the sole purpose of the mummification process, the transition into the after life. There is no doubt that the mummy of Artemidora constitutes immense allure and is worthy of admiration.
Accession Number: 11.155.5a, b
“Mummy of Artemidora : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive.” Internet Archive. Accessed February 14, 2015. https://archive.org/details/mma_mummy_of_artemidora_547696.
“Gallery 138 – Egypt under Roman Rule, Second to Fourth Century A.D.” 138. Accessed February 14, 2015. http://www.metmuseum.org/visit/museum-map/galleries/egyptian/138.
“Mummy of Artemidora | Roman Period.” Mummy of Artemidora. Accessed February 14, 2015. http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-online/search/547696.
Dictionary.com. Accessed February 14, 2015. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/mummy
“Funerary Objects.” Ancient Egypt:. Accessed February 14, 2015. http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/funerary_practices/funerary_objects.htm.