|Intro||Mummified Ancient Egyptian|
Takabuti was a married woman who reached an age of between twenty and thirty years. She lived in the Egyptian city of Thebes at the end of the Twenty-fifth dynasty of Egypt. Her mummified body and mummy case are in the Ulster Museum, Belfast. The coffin was opened and the mummy unrolled on 27 January 1835 in Belfast Natural History Society’s museum at College Square North. Edward Hincks, a leading Egyptologist from Ireland was present and deciphered the Egyptian hieroglyphs which revealed that she was mistress of a great house. Her mother’s name was Taseniric and her father was a priest of Amun. She was buried in a cemetery west of Thebes.
After the Napoleonic Wars there was a brisk trade in Egyptian mummies. Takabuti was purchased in 1834 by Thomas Greg of Ballymenoch House, Holywood, Co. Down. At that time, the unwrapping of a mummy was of considerable scientific interest (as well as curiosity) and later studies revealed beetles later identified as N. mumiarum Hope, 1834, Dermestes maculatus DeGeer, 1774 (as Dermestes vulpinus) and Dermestes frischi Kugelann, 1792 (as Dermestes pollinctus Hope, 1834). The painted coffin was itself of considerable interest and the wrappings of fine linen were given much attention in the town that was the commercial centre of the Irish linen industry. One hundred and seventy years later Takabuti remains a popular attraction for visitors, young and old.