The Enigma of the Red Shroud Mummies

Robert Loynes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The Manchester Museum has an extensive collection of human mummies from ancient Egypt. Within that collection are eight mummies from the Roman Period which have been CT scanned in the recent past. There are a variety of styles of mummy wrapping in the Roman Period of which Red Shroud Portrait mummies are a relatively small group – now scattered throughout the world. Two of these are within the Manchester collection. The CT characteristics of these “Manchester” and other Red Shroud mummies are discussed with regard to similarities and comparisons. The features of these mummies include two with the same name, Artemidorus, and similar injuries to the head – almost certainly indicating a violent death. There are other mummies in the cohort of Red Shroud Mummies that have one or more Ibis included within the wrappings. The use of boards and other forms of “stiffener” within the wrappings is, also, a common feature to several individuals.
Although these mummies form a relatively small cohort within the total Roman Period group of Egyptian mummies, they show some distinctive features that are common to the larger group, particularly with regard to thoracic distortion and other anatomical damage probably resulting from embalming practices in this Period.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMummies, Magic and Medicine in ancient Egypt
Subtitle of host publicationMultidisciplinary essays for Rosalie David
EditorsCampbell Price, Roger Forshaw, Andrew Chamberlain, Paul Nicholson
Place of PublicationManchester
PublisherManchester University Press
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)978 1 7849 9243 9
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Mummy
  • Roman
  • Read Shroud
  • Trauma
  • Ibis
  • Thorax
  • Excerebration
  • Evisceration


Dive into the research topics of 'The Enigma of the Red Shroud Mummies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this