2,500-year-old Egyptian mummy found at Sydney university

It is recently found that a coffin at the University of Sydney’s Nicholson Museum, which was thought to be empty all these years had a 2,500-year-old Egyptian mummy inside it. The coffin was originally bought from an antiquity market in Egypt back in 1858, by Sir Charles Nicholson, one of the first chancellors at the University of Sydney.

“We expected a few bandages or maybe a couple of bones, but when we took the lid off we were just astonished by what we had found. The coffin was made for a lady called Mer-neith-ites and we know that she lived in Egypt around 600 BC due to the style of the coffin. We also know she worked in the temple of the goddess Sekhmet because it tells us that on the coffin as well. What we don’t know is if the remains inside the coffin are Mer-neith-ites herself because many coffins that were bought in the mid 19th century from the antiquities markets would have coffins and mummies sold as an ensemble but they did not necessarily fit together,” said Archaeologist and investigation lead Dr Jamie Fraser.

“Although we can use digital tools to scan a complete mummy, we don’t ever actually get to handle the bones, so now the next step is for a forensic archaeologist to lay the bones out and perform an analysis on what they ate, what their lifestyle was like and how they died,” he said.