Mummy 'princess' under examination
October 27, 2000 KARACHI (The Nation) - Crime Branch Police of Karachi
in a raid in Quetta recovered a mummy in a wooden box measuring 196 cm
in length and 56 cm in height. The mummy seems to be of a princess or have
lineage of royal family, was wearing a golden crown, golden plate on her
chest on which Old Persian cuneiform script is written. Photo
Inspector General Police Sindh, Aftab Nabi, DIG Karachi and Tariq Jamil
of Crime Branch, noted historian, Ahmed Hassan Dani, Director General Archaeology,
Saeedur Rehman and others of National Museum of Pakistan briefed the journalists
on different aspects of the mummy and its recovery at National Museum Thursday
The box was recovered from Sardar Wali Mohammad Reeki (Baloch) in Satellite
Town on pointation of Haji Ali Akbar Baloch of Quetta held by police as
he had a video cassette of the body. Sardar Wali had been detained by Quetta
police and Akbar is in Karachi Police custody, said acting DIG Karachi.
Police sought help from DG, Museum and Archaeology who contacted the
historian, Ahmed Hassan Dani. Though, Dani, told journalists that the identity
of the mummy was not established yet police issued a Press release saying
that her name was Khorul Gayan or Tundul Gayan, and 2,600 years back Karoosh
ul Kabir from the family of Khamam ul Nishiyan was her father. They were
'The British Museum will be contacted and they will tell us the details
of the mummy', said Dani adding that the cuneiform script was written by
Sumerians, Mesopotamian and then by Iranian dynasty.
He said that chemical analysis will take a week and after that the identity
and other details would be known. To a question, he said, according to
the Antiquity Act of government of Pakistan, the mummy is the property
of the government but it may be given to the country, if claimed, the mummy
belongs to that.
He told that such mummies are found in Egypt though other types of mummies
are found in China and Mexico. 'If Egypt proves that the mummy might belong
to Egypt, it has to request Pakistan Government through UNESCO and under
UNESCO's laws if the identity is proven by Egypt, the same may be returned
to Egypt', Dani added.
To a question, DG, Archaeology said that after the identification, the
mummy would be preserved at museum in Pakistan and would be displayed for
However, the brief history issued by the police in a Press release and
compiled by Dr Asma Ibrahim, Curator, National Museum of Pakistan, said
that the mummy was reportedly found at Kharan (Balochistan). The coffin
is of old wood and with the carving of supreme deity of Zoraostians/Persians
called Aura Mazda with two sacred altars.
Holy plants/trees are depicted on top of the coffin and 'sacred' flowers
symbol is depicted on the other two sides. On the top of the mummy is a
cover, made of crushed crystals of granite or Alabaster mixed with wax.
This may be dried in the sun or due to fire. The mummy wrapped by the bandage
in a typical Egyptian way is placed in a mat along with wax and honey mixture.
The mummy has placed both her hands on her chest and it seems that she
is holding something in her hands. 'The dating and origin of the mummy
is yet to be confirmed till the cuneiform script is fully deciphered and
the scientific dating is carried out', said the report of Dr. Asma Ibrahim.
She guessed that the mummy might belong to the period of Cyrus-I (G-640-590)
and his brother Ariaramnes whose gold tablet is discovered by chance find
made at Hamadan on which is engraved in cuneiform signs and in the old