The Ancient Egyptian Mummy Tissue Bank

The Ancient Egyptian Mummy Tissue Bank housed at the KNH Centre is one of the only tissue banks in the world focussed on archaeological material. It was set up and developed during the 1990s and early 2000s in response to the growth of research projects focussed on disease evolution and population-based studies. The bank intended to ensure that suitable research material was available for such projects and to minimise the number of times a mummy was sampled.

The tissue bank currently houses 1496 samples from 614 bodies. These include samples of skin, muscle, internal organs, bone, hair, insects, resin and other materials used to preserve the body and packing material. There is material from Egypt, Sudan and Peru. A full catalogue is available on request.



The tissue bank also houses a large number of histological blocks and slides on loan from Professor Mike Zimmerman. This material has been studied extensively by Mike throughout his career and a full list can be found at:

Additionally, the Centre houses a small collection of skeletal material put together by Sir Grafton Elliot Smith, the remains of Manchester mummy 1770 and a partial mummy donated to the university.

Tissue samples, histological blocks and slides are available on loan to researchers. If you would like to apply to access any of the material please contact