Are you grandpa’s Mummy? (UPDATE: Almost certainly fake)

One wonders how this could end up forgotten in an attic.

BBC News – German boy finds 'a mummy' in grandmother's attic.

A 10-year-old German boy has found what appears to be a mummy hidden in a corner of his grandmother’s attic.

But it is unclear whether the bandaged item found by Alexander Kettler in Diepholz, northern Germany, is a genuine relic from ancient Egypt.

Mr Kettler [Alex’s father] said he had little doubt that the sarcophagus, as well as a death mask and a canopic jar – used by ancient Egyptians to store removed organs – found nearby, were replicas.

However, he believes the mummy may be real.

The dentist’s late father travelled to North Africa in the 1950s.

At that time there was still a trade in genuine mummies, Mr Kettler told his local paper, Die Kreiszeitung.

And there was a trend for mummy unwrapping parties in the 1950s, he said.

Mummy unwrapping parties? Sounds intriguing. Well, what do you know! Egyptomania was all the rage. Unwrapping a mummy was a great social occasion. However, this site disputes that it was such a deal and they were mostly done as lectures in public, not at people’s homes. That doesn’t help us figure out the origin of the mummy in this story. Their mummy is being examined by archaeologists in Berlin.

UPDATE (5-Aug-2013) Many people have chimed in saying so much is wrong with this (including those who do know something about Egyptian relics), it is almost certainly a fake. If so, we may not hear the official word in the media.

  9 comments for “Are you grandpa’s Mummy? (UPDATE: Almost certainly fake)

  1. Holly
    August 4, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    The box that it’s in is definitely not Ancient Egyptian.
    Also the bend in the elbows looks really strange.
    My bet is on film/play prop.

  2. RDW
    August 4, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    I agree about the elbows. It looks like a fake. Maybe they also sold fakes in North Africa at that time.

  3. August 4, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    I bet it’s grandpa.

  4. August 4, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    Yes, the box does look like it’s made from plywood with a print liner! http://p4.focus.de/img/gen/X/R/HBXRp41t_Pxgen_r_1100xA.jpg

  5. David Hall
    August 4, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    The whole thing looks like a carnival gaff like that “frozen bigfoot” which keeps surfacing.every so often. The wrapping is extremely amateurish. No self-respecting Egyptian mortician would have done such a poor job.

    “The dentist’s late father travelled to North Africa in the 1950s.
    At that time there was still a trade in genuine mummies, Mr Kettler told his local paper, Die Kreiszeitung.
    And there was a trend for mummy unwrapping parties in the 1950s, he said.” I’d need to see documentary proof for that claim. Mummy unwrapping was mostly a 19th century fad, as in 1850s not 1950s.

  6. spookyparadigm
    August 4, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    I’m passing this on to an Egyptologist, but it looks fake to this sort-of-layman.

  7. spookyparadigm
    August 4, 2013 at 8:20 PM

    In addition to the material we already had in the Middle American Research Institute when I was a grad student there (including four shrunken heads from South America, two fake, two real, and an Aleutian mummy seized in the 1920s from a carnival and repatriated I believe in the 1990s), two Egyptian Mummies popped up on campus 30 some years ago, and languished in the library basement under a flight of stairs until recently. I don’t know the Egyptologist in this story, but John Verano was one of my professors (he’s an expert on human osteology, and particularly human sacrifice, body mutilation, and trephanation of the living in prehistoric northern Peru [if you’ve ever read anything on human sacrifice from the Moche, he’s probably involved in the research], and he does outside law enforcement consulting from time to time), and Guido Lombardi was a grad student during my time there (he was already an MD in Peru, but was interested in studying mummies, which are quite common in Peru)

    http://tulane.edu/news/newwave/050112_mummies.cfm

    http://tulane.edu/news/releases/archive/1999/the_tale_of_two_mummies.cfm

    http://tulane.edu/news/tulanian/a_tale_of_two_mummies.cfm?RenderForPrint=1

  8. David Hall
    August 5, 2013 at 8:40 PM

    Now the Egyptian press is running a story showing a completely different mummy. Also the article discusses repatriation of the mummy of it proves genuine.

    http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/german-boy-runs-ancient-egyptian-mummy-grandma-s-house

  9. David Hall
    August 6, 2013 at 1:38 AM

    I just happened to notice something in the photographs accompanying the stories. The photo credits and copyright notices are attributed to Lutz Wolfgang Kettler. That is the name,of the father of the boy who found the “mummy” in grandma’s attic. Looks like someone was prepared to cash in on this discovery.
    Broken News Daily has a light-hearted and somewhat sceptical little piece which included pics of the “death mask” “sarcophagus” and :”canopic jars.” I liked the connection to “Balloon Boy” a few years back.
    http://screen.yahoo.com/kid-finds-egyptian-mummy-attic-222505520.html

Comments are closed.