The Life and Times of Takabuti in Ancient Egypt

BookThe Life and Times of Takabuti in Ancient Egypt

The Life and Times of Takabuti in Ancient Egypt

Investigating the Belfast Mummy


April 2nd, 2021



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The mummy of Takabuti is one of the best known antiquities in the Ulster Museum, Belfast. Takabuti was a young woman who lived in Egypt during a tumultuous period, c. 600 BC. Her mummy was unwrapped and investigated in Belfast in 1835. While the focus of the book is on Takabuti, it shows how the combination of archaeological, historical and inscriptional evidence with multidisciplinary scientific techniques can enable researchers to gain a wealth of information about ancient Egypt. This not only relates to the individual historical context, ancestry and life events associated with Takabuti, but also to wider issues of health and disease patterns, lifestyle, diet, and religious and funerary customs in ancient Egypt.

This multi-authored book demonstrates how researchers act as ‘forensic detectives’ piecing together a picture of the life and times of Takabuti. Questions addressed include – Who was Takabuti? When did she live? Where did she come from and where did she reside? What did she eat, and did she suffer from any diseases? Did she suffer a violent death, and how was she mummified and prepared for burial?

'The publication is easy to read and is liberally illustrated. I would highly recommend it. It whets the appetite for a visit to the Ulster Museum to see Takabuti herself.'
Elizabeth O'Brien, UJA

'As a source for information regarding the various scientific methods of investigation ancient mummies, explained in language accessible to a lay audience, this book will prove to be invaluable.’
Hilary Wilson, Ancient Egypt Magazine

Author Information

Professor Rosalie David is an Egyptologist at The University of Manchester where she is also Co-Director of the KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology. She has established biomedical research in Egyptology as a new university specialisation, and in 2003, was awarded an OBE for services to Egyptology. Professor Eileen Murphy is a bioarchaeologist based in Queen’s University Belfast where she is also Co-Director of the Centre for Community Archaeology. Her research largely involves the study of burial practices and human skeletal remains from Ireland and Russia. She has had a long standing fascination with Takabuti since first visiting her in the Ulster Museum as a young child.

Table of Contents

Section TitlePage
Chapter 1. Takabuti: The
Historical Evidence
Chapter 2. Scientific Analysis
of Takabuti’s Historical Date, Ancestry and Place of Residence
Chapter 3. Takabuti’s Age,
Health and Diet
Chapter 4. Takabuti’s Death and
Chapter 5. Takabuti  Revealed