Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Wreck of the Gottfried: Mummies were washed ashore

More information has come to light about the sinking of the Gottfried in 1822 which was carrying Egyptian treasures destined for the private collection of King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia.

The ship sank in a storm on the night of 12th March 1822 in the mouth of River Elbe, where it meets the North Sea, somewhere between the towns of Cuxhaven and Neuhaus. It is thought 97 crates of antiquities were on-board.

Four days after the sinking six and a half mummies in their hieroglyph-adorned coffins were washed ashore. These were later sold at auction in Hamburg on 4th September 1822. Where these mummies and coffins are now remains a mystery, but is know that hair from one of the mummies - a female - was found in the Hamburg Museum of Arts and Crafts in December 2003.

Many thanks to Russell Gilbert in The Netherlands for his investigative work on tracking down these new references to the Gottfried. It appears there is a lot more information buried in historical and newspaper archives about this story.

See the previous post The wreck of the Gottfried and sunken Egyptian treasure

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