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Hawk Mummy

Mummified Hawk

Mummified animals are often found in ancient Egyptian tombs, where they served as offerings to the gods. Birds, including the hawk, are generally associated with the god Horus. Horus was known as Lord of the Sky and was a sign of divine power and protection. He is frequently depicted as a falcon or hawk-headed man. Pharoahs were believed to become the living Horus.

Hawks were worshipped and mummified throughout ancient Egypt. They were revered not only for their association with Horus, but also because they saved the country from scorpions and were believed to have delivered to the Egyptians the ceremonies of the gods. In some instances, hawks were raised specifically to be mummified and sold as offerings to the gods.

When obtained by the donor in 1904, this mummified hawk was reported to have been from the "recently excavated Queen Ti tomb." However, the tomb once believed to be that of Queen Ti (the controversial Tomb 55 in the Valley of the Kings) was not excavated until 1907. Queen Ti, or Tiyi, was the wife of Amenhotep III, the ninth ruler of the18th Dynasty (1570-1293 B.C.).

The hawk mummy is currently on loan to the MU Museum of Art & Archaeology, where it can be seen in the Egyptian exhibit in the Weinberg Gallery.

References and Related Links

Brier, Bob. Egyptian Mummies: Unraveling the Secrets of Ancient Art (New York: Morrow, 1994).

Clayton, Peter A. Chronicle of the Pharaohs: the Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1994).

Davis, Theodore M. The Tomb of Queen Tiyi (London: Constable, 1910).

Ancient Egyptian Culture Exhibit at Minnesota State University

Animal Mummy Project at the Cairo Museum

KV55 at the Theban Mapping Project

Hawk Mummy exhibit prepared by Charmagne Thompson,
July 2002.

hawk mummy
hawk mummy