|The Mummy of Pesed|
She is believed to be the mummy of Lady Pesed Ma Rheres, young and single daughter of Heshor, priest of Khem, and his wife the Lady Urt. Khem was a small Egyptian town on the Nile near the present city of Luxor. The mummy was excavated from the city of Akhmim, about 235 miles south of Cairo.
When you mummify someone you remove their organs, but you always leave in the heart. They would basically remove the lungs, the liver, the stomach and the intestines, and in certain time periods they would mummify them separately and place them in special jars that would be buried with them. The other thing is that they didn't seem to think the brain was necessary for the afterlife, so basically they would remove the brain through the nose.
It takes up to 300 metres or more of linen to wrap a mummy. Wrapping is a very complicated process that could take up to two weeks. It's all part of a religious experience, so they would say prayers and do other things while they were wrapping. It was an incredibly intricate process, especially in later periods.
Several things make up "you" as a person in Egyptian thinking.
When a mummy is put in the tomb, what's with it is called its ka, which is like its life force, and looks after the body in the tomb and continues to receive food offerings. So the family might come and bring food or drink to the grave and this is to help sustain the ka, which is with the mummy in the tomb.
People say prayers, and written on the side of Pesed's coffin in our exhibition is the basic prayer for the dead, which is 'may you have bread and beer and cattle and fowl,' basically 'may you continue to have the things you need to sustain you while you're in the tomb and the afterlife.'
The exhibit will focus on the stories of about 80 Westminster College missionaries in Egypt; Egypt’s journey through civilization; and the life of Pesed. The film, Mysteries of Ancient Egypt, will be featured at the Center’s Imax theatre.
This will be a working vacation for Pesed, who will undergo radio-carbon dating, x-rays, and a CAT scan during the trip. Jonathan Elias, an Egyptologist and exhibit designer at the Whitaker Center, hopes to solve some of Pesed’s mysteries and determine if she is related to a mummy on display in a Buffalo museum and one that was damaged in a fire at the College of Wooster.