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"When the mummy of my child reaches you, keep guard until I arrive"

These are the poignant words found on a wooden label held in the Egypt Centre in Swansea.  This simple tabula anisette shaped item, with its 4 holes for attachment, was placed on a mummy as an identification tag.
During Graeco-Roman times (332 BC-AD 395),  people who died away from home were usually taken back for burial in their local cemeteries. To make sure that the deceased were identified correctly when they reached home, the sender would put a label around the neck of the mummy -  inscribed in Greek or demotic language, or more rarely in hieroglyphics -  with  the name of the deceased and, sometimes, further information about the person who had died, such as their age or home town.  The labels were either made from wood or from stone and, for those who could not afford a proper tomb and were interred in mass graves or simply buried in the desert sand,they may have acted as a replacement for traditional stelae.  
This label (accession number W549) has 7 lines of Greek written in in…

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