Ancient egyptian subadult mummies: Unwrapping childhood in the ancient past

January 19, 2021

Jillian A. Graves - The University of Western Ontario, Canada

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository, January 2021.


Ancient Egypt; Subadult; Mummy; IMPACT; Computed tomography; CT; Osteobiography; Life history stages; Childhood


This study documents the analysis of 21 subadult Ancient Egyptian mummies, spanning from the New Kingdom to the Roman Period, held on the Internet Mummy Picture Archiving and Communication Technology (IMPACT) database (Nelson & Wade, 2015), as well as a single first-hand osteobiographical analysis (Appendix A). The primary objective of this research is to determine if subadult Ancient Egyptian mummies were treated differently than their adult counterparts, paying specific attention to the potential for marked life history stages within subadulthood, as well as any temporal trends that may be observed. It was previously suggested that head positioning in the Graeco/Roman Period may be a point of differentiation between children and adults. Ultimately, in the absence of marked life history stages it became apparent that subadult treatment largely mirrored that of adults, with the exception of young female and Roman Period mummies, who revealed potential life history stage transitions during subadulthood.

How Our Software Was Used

Dragonfly was used to manipulate and examine radiological images of a subadult mummy.