The Development of a Hyperpectral Microscope for Immunofluorescence Imaging of Painting Cross-sections

  • Walton, Marc Sebastian (PD/PI)
  • Cossairt, Oliver Strides (Co-Investigator)

Project: Research project

Project Details


Hawara portrait mummy #4 is a complete portrait-mummy of a girl in the collection of the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary on Northwestern’s campus. She was excavated in December 1910 by Sir Flinders Petrie, a pioneering Egyptologist, at a site called Hawara located in the Fayum depression. Petrie’s field notes show that he discovered this mummy in a tomb alongside four others, two of them known to be in the collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (11.139) and the National Museums of Scotland (A.1911.210). This burial group presents a unique opportunity to unpack the possible family relationships by undertaking DNA testing. This information could vastly improve our understanding of burial practices and the history of art for these types of portrait mummies. Here we propose to develop the capabilities of undertaking ancient DNA sequencing at Northwestern University using the Hawara portrait mummy #4, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and National Museum of Scotland mummies as case studies that will show the potential of using DNA for the characterization of their family connections, whether these individuals died of disease, as well as broader questions concerning ancestry, movement of ancient people, and inter-marriage in this prototypical multicultural community within the ancient Fayum.
Effective start/end date9/1/195/30/21


  • Richard Lounsbery Foundation (Check No. 23463)


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