Herakleides - A Portrait Mummy From Roman Egypt . Corcoran, . Svoboda

Getty Publications - (Yale)
Paperback / softback
Publication date:
03 Feb 2011
Getty Publications
104 pages: 236 x 188 x 9mm
50 colour & 20 b&w illustrations

This is a fascinating multi-disciplinary study of the mummified remains of a young man who died nearly 2,000 years ago in Roman Egypt. Herakleides was a young man who lived and died in Roman Egypt almost two thousand years ago. This multidisciplinary study highlights the funerary practices and religious beliefs of his world. Through state-of-the-art technology researchers have sought to determine if the portrait over the mummy's face actually depicted the mummified remains, if precious jewels or amulets were present, and if the age of the mummy could be determined - all without unwrapping the mummy. The iconographic symbols decorating the red-painted shroud of Herakleides depict gods and goddesses as well as expressing a desire for an eternal afterlife. Such concepts, popularly associated with ancient Egypt, remained influential into the time of the Roman Empire. The book concludes by comparing the data from the mummy of Herakleides to similarly decorated red-shrouded portrait mummies in collections worldwide.

Lorelei Corcoran is director of the Institute of Egyptian Art & Archaeology at the University of Memphis and the author of Portrait Mummies from Roman Egypt. Marie Svoboda is associate conservator of the Antiquities Conservation Department at the J. Paul Getty Museum.