Monday February 26th, 2024
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The Egyptian Museum Houses Rare Collection of Fayoum Mummy Portraits

The Fayoum Mummy Portraits are considered one of the oldest art forms to depict naturalistic human features.

Farah Desouky

The Egyptian Museum in Tahrir is home to a collection of the rare Fayoum Mummy Portraits, a form of panel painting that would be drawn on wooden boards and then placed over the faces of bodies that were mummified for burial. Dating back to the Imperial Roman era, about 151 portrait mummies were discovered at Hawara near the Fayoum oasis by British archaeologist Flinders Petrie between 1887 and 1911.

The portraits are considered one of the oldest art forms to depict naturalistic human features. In addition to the Egyptian Museum, some of the portraits are on display at the British Museum, the National Museum of Scotland, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Louvre in Paris.

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