KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology


Cover of 'Mummies, Magic and Medicine in Ancient Egypt'

Price, C., Forshaw, R., Chamberlain, C. & Nicholson, P. (eds) (2016), Mummies, Magic and Medicine in Ancient Egypt: Multidisciplinary essays for Rosalie David. (Manchester: Manchester University Press)

Combining approaches to ancient Egyptian religious expression, medical practice and modern scientific study of human and material remains from

Egypt and Sudan, this volume celebrates the multidisciplinary career of Professor Rosalie David OBE. The UK’s first female Professor in Egyptology, Rosalie David’s pioneering work at The University of Manchester on Egyptian mummies, magic and medicine has been of international importance.

This volume presents research by a number of leading experts in their fields: recent archaeological fieldwork, new research on Egyptian human remains and unpublished museum objects along with reassessments of ancient Egyptian texts concerned with healing and the study of technology through experimental archaeology. Contributors try to answer some of Egyptology’s most enduring questions – How did Tutankhamun die? How were the pyramids built? How were mummies made? – along with less well-known puzzles.

Cover of 'Gifts for the Gods'

McKnight, L. M. and Atherton-Woolham, S. (2015), Gifts for the Gods: Ancient Egyptian animal mummies and the British (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press).

Gifts for the Gods is an enlightening and richly illustrated book on animal mummies from ancient Egypt. Introducing readers to the wealth of animal mummies in British museums and private collections, this fascinating collection focuses on the prevalent type of animal mummy to be found in Britain: the votive offering.

In a series of chapters written by experts in their field, Gifts for the Gods details the role of animals in ancient Egypt and in museum collections. It concentrates on the unique relationship of British explorers, travellers, archaeologists, curators and scientists with this material. The book describes a best-practice protocol for the scientific study of animal mummies by the Ancient Egyptian Animal Bio Bank team, whilst acknowledging that the current research represents only the beginning of a much larger task.

Cover of 'Palaeopathology in Egypt and Nubia'

R. Metcalfe, J. Cockitt and R. David (eds.) (2015), Palaeopathology in Egypt and Nubia: a century in review (Oxford: Archaeopress Egyptology).

The study of human remains from ancient Egypt and Nubia has captured the imagination of many people for generations, giving rise to the discipline of palaeopathology and fostering bioarchaeological research. This book contains 16 papers that cover material presented at a workshop entitled ‘Palaeopathology in Egypt and Nubia: A Century in Review,’ held at the Natural History Museum, London (August 29–30, 2012), which formed part of a three-year research project, ‘Sir Grafton Elliot Smith: Palaeopathology and the Archaeological Survey of Nubia.’ The papers explore the subject of palaeopathology from its beginnings in the early 1900s through to current research themes and the impact of technological development in the field. Revealing the diverse range of methods used to study human remains in these regions, the book gives readers an insight into the fascinating work carried out over the last century, and suggests some possible future directions for the field.


Loynes, R. (2015), Prepared for Eternity: A study of human embalming techniques in ancient Egypt using computerised tomography scans of mummiesOxford: Archaeopress Egyptology).

This publication brings together personal analyses of sixty CT scans of ancient Egyptian human mummies collected from many museums throughout the UK and continental Europe. The effect is that of performing ‘virtual autopsies' (‘virtopsies') allowing techniques of mummification to be examined. The historical age of the mummies ranges from the Middle Kingdom to the Roman Period. Several new observations are made regarding the preparation of mummies and confirmation of previously described themes is tempered by the observation of variations probably indicating individual workshop practices. The work presents a springboard for further detailed research on the subject. About the Author: Robert Loynes is an Orthopaedic Surgeon who, after retirement, carried out the research described in this publication and was subsequently awarded a PhD in Egyptology. His lifelong interest in Egyptology and a lifetime career using medical images fired his passion for the subject of mummy research specifically using CT scans as a tool.

Cover of 'The role of the lector in ancient Egyptian society'

Forshaw, R. (2014), The role of the lector in ancient Egyptian society (Oxford: Archaeopress).

The lector is first attested during the 2nd Dynasty and is subsequently recognised throughout ancient Egyptian history. In previous studies the lector is considered to be one of the categories of the ancient Egyptian priesthood. He is perceived to be responsible for the correct performance of rites, to recite invocations during temple and state ritual, and to carry out recitations and perform ritual actions during private apotropaic magic and funerary rites.

Previous treatments of the lector have rarely considered the full extent of his activities, either focusing on specific aspects of his work or making general comments about his role. This present study challenges this selective approach and explores his diverse functions in a wide ranging review of the relevant evidence.

Why did he accompany state organised military, trading and mining expeditions and what was his role in healing? In the temple sphere he not only executed a variety of ritual actions but he also directed ritual practices. What responsibilities did he fulfil when sitting on legal assemblies, both temple-based and in the community? Activities such as these that encompassed many aspects of ancient Egyptian life are discussed in this volume.
Cover of 'Gifts for the Gods'

McKnight, L.M. (2010), Imaging Applied to Animal Mummification in Ancient Egypt (Oxford: Archaeopress).

Radiographic study of mummified animal remains held in the collections of Bolton Museum and Art Gallery, Bristol Museum, Manchester Museum and the Garstang Museum, University of Liverpool.