When looking at the mummy in his office, emperor Dom Pedro II probably never imagined that one century later, the gift that he received on a trip to Egypt would undergo so many turbulent experiences. Parts of the mummy were recently recuperated from the National Museum fire that destroyed the largest scientific collection in the country.
The coffin is more than 2,700 years old and had never been opened, but researchers found parts in the leftovers of the building that was destroyed eight months ago.
The mummy is one of the 200 pieces that researchers rescued from the 700-piece Egyptian collection— the largest in Latin America.
The beloved mummy sat in the middle of the emperor's office. They were the remains of the priestess-singer Sha-Amun-in-Su, dating back to 750 BC. Although never opened, its content was already known by researchers thanks to a tomography taken in 2005.
Among its contents were a beetle-shaped amulet, placed on the top of the woman's chest, and a small bag with eight amulets for the protection of the singer in another life.
According to archaeologist Pedro Von Seehausen, a member of the museum’s rescue team, this is the first time that the items have seen the light of day. “When we found them, I thought: I think that the last person to touch these items was whoever closed the coffin,” he said. Some of the bones of the mummy and the coffin survived, but the soft tissues were lost in the fire.
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon