The Egyptian mummy of Chonsu-maa-cheru can be dated to the time of the pharaoh Osorkon I (ca. 925-890 BC). In 1903, it came to the Museum of Ethnology in Hamburg, today’s Museum at the Rothenbaum – Cultures and Arts of the World (MARKK).
Fortunately, the mummy was not unwrapped, as was often the case at that time. Instead, it was examined with X-rays that had been discovered only a few years earlier. Already then, a scarab was discovered on the chest of the deceased.
In 1996, cross-sectional images of the entire mummy were created using computer tomography (CT). The winged scarab is clearly visible between linen wrapping (above) and ribs (below).
The views of the winged scarab shown here were reconstructed from a sequence of CT images. The body is made of stone (possibly lapis lazuli), the wings of gold foil. As we have no information about its natural colors, the colors used here were chosen according to artistic aspects.
The scarab still rests inside the mummy of Chonsu-maa-cheru, as it has for 2900 years.
- Renate Germer, Karl Heinz Höhne, Christoph Koch: Neue Einblicke in eine Mumie – die Röntgenuntersuchung der Mumie des Chonsu-maa-cheru. In Wulf Köpke, Bernd Schmelz (eds.): Alt-Ägypten, Mitteilungen aus dem Museum für Völkerkunde Hamburg, Neue Folge Band 30, Holos Verlag, Bonn, 2000, 172-181.
- Renate Germer: Eine Hamburger altägyptische Mumie mit 100-jähriger Röntgengeschichte. In Antje Spiekermann (ed.): Zur Zierde gereicht … Festschrift Bettina Schmitz zum 60. Geburtstag am 24. Juli 2008. Hildesheimer Ägyptologische Beiträge 50. Gerstenberg, Hildesheim 2008, 91-96.
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