Mummies and skeletons from the Coptic monastery complex Deir el-Bachit in Thebes-west, Egypt

Lösch, Sandra; Hower-Tilmann, Estelle; Zink, Albert (2013). Mummies and skeletons from the Coptic monastery complex Deir el-Bachit in Thebes-west, Egypt. Anthropologischer Anzeiger, 70(1), pp. 27-41. Stuttgart: E. Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung (E. Nägele) 10.1127/0003-5548/2012/0218

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Deir el-Bachit is the largest known Coptic monastery complex in Thebes-West.
It dates to the Late Antiquity period between the 6th and the beginning of the 10th century AD.
So far, at least 26 individuals from the site were analysed anthropologically. 22 of them were excavated directly at the necropolis, the other 4 are special burials that were found at other locations nearby.Most individuals from the necropolis are male adults. There are two categories of human remains: “mummified” and “skeletonised”. The differences are probably due
to social stratification. A substance similar to bitumen was found at the mummies. At that time, resin containing oils and bitumen were normally not used any more. One of the Special burials was an approximately three years old child which was found enclosed within a wall. Another special burial was a juvenile or young adult female who was found in the vault of an
abandoned granary. The female was most likely pregnant and fell victim to a violent crime. This is indicated by the bones of a six months old foetus and an intravital skull fracture. She was no contemporary from the time the monastery was cultivated but was later deposited in this area.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Legal Medicine > Anthropology

UniBE Contributor:

Lösch, Sandra


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




E. Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung (E. Nägele)




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:40

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:12

Publisher DOI:


Web of Science ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Thebes, Coptic monastery, mummies, skeletons, Special burial



URI: (FactScience: 223964)

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