In ancient Egyptian mummies, the heart was the only organ that stayed in the body. This was because the heart would be weighed against the feather of Ma'at in the Hall of Two Truths.

The Romano-Egyptian portrait mummy of Herakleides (50 - 100 A.D.) represents a break with tradition; the lungs were left inside the body1 instead of the heart. Why is that? What use would Herakleides have for his lungs in the afterlife?

1 The Mummification Process (Getty Museum)

2 Answers 2


The only explanation that comes to mind for me is that the traditional religion and it's methods were not as present anymore during the later ptolemaic years. It might have been an “accident“ rather than having a mythological purpose.


Actually,I think he died in battle. If the human heart is damaged,in Ancient Egyptian culture,it had to be replaced with what was called a heart scarab which would replace the heart if it was damaged. If the lungs were left behind,it's probably so he can breathe in the afterlife or like the comment above,it could've been a mistake

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