| Moses |
Deep in a cave was the body of “Moses”. A male estimated to be about 2,000 years old. He is the first mummified human remains found in South Africa.
The Egyptians and the Incas mummified the bodies of their god-kings for their journeys through the afterlife, and so, it appears, did the San, the nomadic hunter- gatherer clans who were Southern Africa’s first people. This mummy could be a boost for tourism in a region otherwise starved of resources. But if it has a curse, it is the slashed subsidy and uncertain future of the Albany Museum of Natural History in Grahamstown, whose renowned archaeologist, Dr Johan Binneman, first stumbled across “Moses”.
Binneman found him under two layers of bushes, sticks and a rare painted gravestone in April. He had been excavating the shelter where the mummy was found and its surrounds, which he now believes hold further remains, for several years as part of an investigation into the way people lived over the past 10 000 years.