Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Badarian Bowl Burial



In an era where the display of human remains has become a contested issue, the presentation of this individual in his burial bowl is particularly arresting. This is the well-known Burial 59 from the pre-dynastic North Spur site at Hemamieh near Badari. The large red earthenware pot contained the deceased individual wrapped in a linen shroud, without grave goods, and was capped by a second, slightly smaller, bowl. The burial is one of a number that cut into the pre-dynastic domestic refuse mound and is tentatively dated to the Protodynastic/Old Kingdom periods.

I was particularly taken by the sign near the entrance of the museum that noted that there are human remains on display inside. This is contextualised in terms of how the collections are treated with respect and are the subjects of ongoing research ‘in order to return aspects of their individual identities’.