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The mummy still waits

Dennis Marcus Mathew

Officials of the Archaeology Department in a quandary


  • Awaits experts for preservation.
  • Attempts to get experts from Britain fall flat.
  • It was gifted to the Nizam by his relative in 1920.



    Royal disgrace: `Naishu', daughter of the Pharaoh VI, continues to be short-changed by fate. Photo: Mohd. Yousuf

    HYDERABAD: Over 4,500 years after she breathed her last in Egypt, fate has been playing games with Naishu, the daughter of the sixth Pharaoh.

    This Egyptian mummy, dated to around 2,500 B.C. and in the State Archaeological Museum here since 1930, is yet to get expert help in preservation of her embalmed body.

    One of the six mummies kept on display in Indian museums and the only one in South India, Naishu has placed the Archaeology Department here in a quandary, with officials unable even to ascertain whether the mummy, lying in an airtight glass enclosure ever since, is in a good condition or not.

    Though the department send an SOS to the British Museum last year, pleading help from its several highly trained mummy conservators, it is learnt the Britons refused any help because their conservators could not be spared "even for a day".

    No help even from Egypt

    The Archaeology and Museums director, J. Kedareswari, had then turned to experts in Naishu's motherland, Egypt. However, even a year later, there has been no response from Cairo.

    In the meanwhile the crust of the embalmed body is fragmenting at the face, shoulders and around feet. A small split has appeared along the chest area as well.


    History says the mummy was bought by Nazeer Nawaz Jung, son-in-law of Mir Mehboob Ali Khan, the VI Nizam of Hyderabad around 1920, for a reported price of 1000 pounds. It was later gifted to the VII Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan, who in turn donated it to the Museum in 1930. Naishu is rumoured to have died during her pregnancy at the young age of 18.

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