Sign in to comment!


Ancient Egypt

3,000-year-old mummy restored with the help of Lego

  • fullmummy.jpg

    A 3,000-year-old mummy was restored along with the help of Lego. (The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge)

  • mummymultiple.jpg

    Images 1 and 3 show the cartonnage of Hor before treatment. In image 2, David Knowles, Sophie Rowe and Andor Vince position the cartonnage in the purpose-built frame. Image 4 shows the cartonnage of Hor suspended upside-down in the frame and image 5 is the restored product. (The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge)

A 3,000-year-old mummy case has been restored to its former glory thanks to the help of Lego building blocks.

The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge sought to repair the 13th century Egyptian king Hor's cartonnage, a papier-mâché-like material made from linen and papyrus used to make mummy cases, which was found damaged in the Ramesseum at Thebes in 1896.

Robbers had torn out the gilded wooden face and the mummy had been removed. At some point, the cartonnage was exposed to damp conditions which caused the cartonnage around the chest and face to sag.

In order to repair the damage, engineers at the Cambridge University's Department of Engineering created a frame to suspend Hor face-down while they reshaped the case.

Once the mummy case was reshaped, conservator Sophie Rowe built small structures from Lego to be placed within the chest cavity to help the case retain its new shape.

Hor can now be safely displayed at the museum.