Kherima, or Priestess of the Sun, are nicknames given to an Egyptian mummy of a woman who lived in the Thebes region during the Roman Period, between the 1st and 3rd centuries. This is a young woman who was between 18 and 20 years old when she was mummified after her death for undetermined causes. Her real name is not known, and almost all information about her life is hypothetical or conjectural in nature.
Why She Was Special
Nevertheless, her mummification process made it extremely rare. In contrast to the Egyptian practice of wrapping the mummies in linen fabrics, this exceptional mummy had all of her limbs bandaged individually, as well as bandages covering each of her toes and fingers, and she wore a garment that accentuated her contours and her human form, adorned with painted and decorated bands, and representations of mystical symbols, some of which have never been deciphered.
Kherima at Museu Nacional
The mummy was brought to Brazil in 1826 by the Italian merchant Nicolau Fiengo, along with a large collection of Egyptian antiquities that belonged to the famous Italian explorer Giovanni Battista Belzoni, responsible for excavating the Thebes Necropolis and the Carnaque Temple. The entire collection was purchased at an auction in Rio de Janeiro by Emperor Pedro I and donated the same year to the National Museum. Since then, Kherima has come to occupy a prominent position in the museum’s collection, both for its rarity and historical and scientific value and for its fascination with visitors, being even associated with reports of parapsychological experiences and collective trances, supposedly occurred in the decade. 1960. Kherima also inspired the novel The Mummy Secret by Everton Ralph, a member of the Rose Cross Society.
On September 2, 2018, a major fire at the National Museum destroyed the Kherima mummy, as well as most of the institution’s Egyptian artifacts.