The Gebelein Man, by Kent and Sussex Poetry Society member Clare Marsh, a writer of children’s fiction, short stories, flash fiction and poetry, was selected in our 2020 Folio competition for publication in Folio #74. Clare graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Kent in 2018. She can be found on Facebook at claremarshwriter1
The Gebelein Man In the Early Egypt Gallery, preserved in sand, a young man from south of Thebes, lies crouched face-down in a glass cube. Surrounded by prying eyes, he covers his face with clasped hand in a staged burial pit - defenceless as any caged animal. I want to cover his naked body with a blanket of softest wool Displayed over a hundred years, dubbed Ginger for his poignant tufts of red curls, clustered on his leathered scalp. His given name belatedly dropped due to ethical concerns about the treatment of the dead. The British Museum invites me instead to take part in a touch screen interactive learning experience to explore inside Gebelein Man on a virtual autopsy table. Allows me, and a crowd of giggling school children, to slice through CT scan layers - skin, muscle, organs - to reveal his skeleton and discover the fatal stab wound in his back. After the Human Tissue Act 2004, the British Museum developed a policy for the respectful handling and display of human remains.