The Egyptology collection is one of the smallest collections, with just under forty items, from across Ancient Egypt. Although small, the collection was one of the earliest added to Swindon Museum and Art Gallery.
At the core of this collection is the museum’s mummy, Hatemiu. Hatemiu arrived in Swindon in 1929 but was first brought to England from Akhmim in 1886 by a private collector, when Egyptology was of national fascination.
Dating back to 350-30BC, Hatemiu was approximately 12-13 years old when he died and buried in the ancient town of Akhmim, north of Luxor, in Upper Egypt. The gold leaf detailing on his cartonnage- the decorated linen stiffened with beeswax covering his body- suggests that he was from a wealthy family. Displayed alongside Hatemiu in our Egyptian Gallery are the items buried with him, including his wooden sarcophagus, the linen used during the mummification process, and a corn cob; providing his ka (soul) with food in the afterlife.
The collection also contains other Ancient Egyptian artefacts including sixteen black topped redware vases from Luxor, dating to 3500BC and 2613BC, five flint hand axes and scrapers, and four Ushabti figures. These funerary figures, known as Ushabti or Shabiti, would have represented the deceased’s servants in the afterlife.