The ancient Egyptian cartonnage mummy case of Hor is now on display at the Fitzwilliam Museum after a conservation project using LEGO proved successful.
The conservation of the mummy case was undertaken with the assistance of the University’s Department of Engineering, who built structures to support the case during conservation and a new display mount with internal supports using LEGO.
The gilded wooden face had been torn out by robbers and the mummy removed where, at some point, it had been exposed to damp conditions resulting in sagging around the chest and face.
To ensure conservators could reshape the cartonnage, they needed it to be face-down, but the fragile state of the chest and face caused difficulties.
The museum then offered the problem as a project to a final year student at the University’s Department of Engineering, David Knowles.
Knowles created a frame to suspend Hor face-down while the reshaping was carried out. Once the chest and face had been reshaped, he created six structures out of LEGO that have been placed inside the chest cavity to ensure it doesn’t collapse in the future.
Knowles was awarded a prize by the Department of Engineering for his final presentation on the project.
Image used courtesy of the Fitzwilliam Museum.