Accession Number
Current Location
In storage
Object Type
Scarab, seal, scaraboid, intaglio and similar objects, Seal
Byzantine Period
Natural compounds (Nile mud)
Egypt, Akhmim
Length: 26mm | Width: 32mm | Depth: 12mm
Number of Elements

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Coptic seal with some bandages remaining. The label states these (EC445a-e) have the arms of the dead and were found on bandages of the dead at Akhmim. They date to around 300-600 AD. One of the seals has the impression of a lion. The seals appear to be clay-based, and four retain their bandages. In at least two cases, the bandages appear to have been formed into a tube by sewing the edges together. The colour, texture, and weight of the fabric appear subtly different in all four cases. Mud seals are known from the Old Kingdom through to the Medieval Periods and were used to seal boxes, jars, rolled papyrus, doors, etc. While they did not stop people opening the sealed item, they showed the items had been tampered with.


Bianchi, Robert Steven 2022. Sealing the dead. Égypte Nilotique et Méditerranéenne 15, 75–92.

Other Identity
EC556 (previous number) | EC557 (previous number)
Previous Owner
Sir Henry Solomon Wellcome (1853–1936)
Long-term loan, The Wellcome Trust (15 Feb 1971)
Last modified: 05 Jan 2022

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