The Anniston Museum’s two Ptolemaic Era mummies continue to fascinate visitors since their arrival to Anniston in 1930. The two mummies came from Thebes (now known as Luxor); they were discovered in a mass grave close to the Valley of the Kings. The Ptolemaic Era lasted from roughly 332 BC to 30 BC. The Anniston Museum mummies are around 2,300 years old!
- Severn Regar purchased the mummies in 1929 from an Egyptian merchant who intended to display them at the Sesquicentennial Exposition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The mummies moved to Anniston in 1930 from Norristown, Pennsylvania with the rest of Regar’s collection. The mummies were displayed in the basement of the Carnegie Library. Local legend emerged that if one made a wish and touched the toes of the smaller female mummy, the wish would come true. This resulted in damages to the wrappings of the smaller mummy. In 1978, after the Anniston Museum moved to its current location, the mummies were sent for x-rays at Stringfellow Memorial Hospital before being sent to NYC for restoration work.
The community raised funds to pay for the conservation to the mummies. The wrappings on the smaller mummy were adjusted to cover the damages done over time and the masks repaired. Around this time, an Egyptologist from Emory University translated the hieroglyphics on the female mummy’s casings; it revealed the mummy’s name: Tasherytpamenekh, or “daughter of Pamenekh.” The mummies returned to display roughly a year later. In 1985, the museum hosted “The Mummy Revealed” to highlight the newly created bust of Tasherytpamenekh by artist Betty Pat Gatliff.
In 2010, Tasherytpamenekh was once more removed from exhibit and taken to RMC Tyler Center for a 64-slice CT scan. This scan allowed medical professionals and museum staff to see beneath the wrappings without damaging her. The scans provided a 360◦ view of Tasherytpamenekh and revealed she was relatively healthy, had relatively little bone deterioration, and likely died sometime in her twenties or thirties.
These two mummies’ histories are deeply entwined with the history of the Anniston Museum. Celebrate 90 years of these fascinating individuals with a visit to the Anniston Museum’s “Ancient Egypt” exhibit hall!