Catalogue Number:





Portrait Mummy




Roman portrait mummy. Female Greek teacher. Wrapped in linen with rhomboid swathing and portrait painted on linen prepared with a thin layer of plaster. Name and profession (Hermione Grammatike) written in Greek to left of portrait. Flax string (perhaps for mummy label) attached above the foot


Hermione Grammatike (in Greek)


Body: length 159 cm; width at shoulders 41 cm Portrait: length 30.5 cm; width 21 cm


Cloth. Linen. Plaster. String. Human remains




AD 1-100


Hawara, Faiyum, Egypt



Acquisition Source:

British School of Archaeology in Egypt, through contributions of Girton year 3 students + others

Acquisition Date:


Collection History:

Wm. Flinders Petrie’s excavation at Hawara, Fayum (BSAE). Acquired through contribution to excavations of å£20.00, 1911

Archival Records:

GCAR 8/4/14 (main); GCAR 8/4/12; GCAR 8/4/15; GCAR 8/4/31/2


Bourriau, J., ‘Hermione Grammatike’, Girton College Newsletter (1996/97), 15-19 Bourriau, J. and J. Bashford, ‘Radiological examination of two mummies of the Roman era’, MASCA Journal 1.6 (1980), 168-71, Mummification Supplement Doxiadis, E., The Mysterious Fayum Portraits: Faces from Ancient Egypt (London, 1995) Ellis, S. P., Graeco-Roman Egypt, Shire Egyptology Series 17 (Princes Risborough, 1992) Filer, J., ‘Revealing Hermione’s secrets’, Egyptian Archaeology. Bulletin of the Egypt Exploration Society 11 (1997), 32-34 Gayford, M., ‘A brittle glory shineth in this face’, Sunday Telegraph Magazine 9 March 1997, 14-16 Graham-Dixon, A., ‘Immortal longings’, The Independent Tabloid 13 March 1997, 4-5 Kaup, Y. and U. Weser, ‘SchatzkÌ_stchen der molekularen ArchÌ_ologie’, Antike Welt 6 (2000), 573-84 MÌ©autis, G., Les chefs-d’oeuvre de la peinture greque (Paris, 1939) Montserrat, D., ‘Heron “bearer of philosophia” and Hermione Grammatike’, Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 83 (1997), 223-26 Nicholls, R. Fitzwilliam Museum: ‘Classical Heritage: Greek and Roman art from Cambridge college collections’ (Cambridge, 1978), 156 P. Koeln XI 456 = Koelner Papyri Band 11. Abhandlungen der Nordrhein-WestfÌ_lischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Sonderreihe Papyrologica Coloniensia VII/11. Parlasca, K., MumienportrÌ_ts und verwandte DenkmÌ_ler (Wiesbaden, 1966), 52, 81 (no. 11), 101-03, 251, 253 (Tafel 15.1) Petrie, W. M. Flinders, Roman Portraits and Memphis (IV) (London, 1911) Picton, J., S. Quirke and P. C. Roberts, Living Images. Egyptian Funerary Portraits in the Petrie Museum (London, 2007), 34-36, 102-04, 110 Riding, A., ‘Under the probing gaze of the Egyptian dead’, The New York Times 26 April 1997 Roberts, The Hon. Alison, ‘A short guide to the exhibit cases of the Lawrence Room’, Typescript handbook (1961) Rowlandson, J., Women and Society in Greek and Roman Egypt: a Sourcebook (Cambridge, 1988) Thompson, D., ‘Who Is Hermione?’, The Girton Project Journal. Girtonians: Zig-Zag Lives, 2 (2012), 8-15 Turner, E. G., Greek Papyri: an Introduction (Oxford, 1968) Walker, S. and M. Bierbrier, Ancient Faces: Mummy Portraits from Roman Egypt (London, 1968), 37-39, no. 11


British Museum, ‘Ancient Faces. Mummy portraits from Roman Egypt’, 1997 Fitzwilliam Museum, ‘Classical Heritage: Greek and Roman art from Cambridge college collections’, 1978

Keyword Variations:

Place: Faiyum


Margaret Murray: date given as 1st-4th century AD

Intellectual Authority:

Euphrosyne Doxiadis 1995: description; Lucilla Burn and Sally-Ann Ashton 2005: valuation