In the XXIst Dynasty, when tomb robberies were rife and most of their valuables had been stolen, the royal mummies were removed from place to place and at last deposited for safety in the tomb of Amenophis II.
That circumcision (though perhaps not till puberty) was regularly practised is proved by the mummies (agreeing with the testimony of Herodotus and the indications of the early tomb sculptures) until an edict of Hadrian forbade it: after that, only priests were circumcised.
This led further to the medicinal use of fragments of the mummies themselves; and, finally, the starting-point was lost sight of, so that the dried or prepared flesh of criminals became one of the standard forms of mummy in the pharmacopoeia.
Remains of the mummies of dogs and similar animals sacred to these deities are scattered among the debris on the hillside in abundance.
Pettigrew, A History of Egyptian Mummies (London, 1834); G.
A series of forty-four mummies of priests and priestesses of the XXIst Dynasty furnished the material for an important monograph.
For historical pathology the examination of mummies and skeletons is yielding good results.
Thanks to the great care expended on the preservation of the royal dead, although the mummies of all the other kings have disappeared, a wonderful series of the Theban kings and queens of the New Kingdom from the XVIIth Dynasty to the XXIst Dynasty has come down to us.
It is of interest to note that grape-stones have been found with mummies in Egyptian tombs of not later age than 3000 years.
The scope of the archaeologist's studies must include every department of the ancient history of man as preserved in antiquities of whatever character, be they tumuli along the Baltic, fossil skulls and graven bones from the caves of France, the flint implements, pottery, and mummies of Egypt, tablets and bas-reliefs from Mesopotamia, coins and sculptures of Greece and Rome, or inscriptions, waxen tablets, parchment rolls, and papyri of a relatively late period of classical antiquity.