Fragments of the funerary garland of Taweretempernesu

From the burial of Taweretempernesu, Bab el-Gasus, Egypt
21st Dynasty, 1070-945 BC

Bouquets and garlands have been found placed on the top of Egyptian outer coffins. They were probably placed there by members of the family of the deceased, who carried them in the funerary procession, much as people of many cultures do today. A wreath of leaves and flowers was found on the outer coffin of Tutankhamun (1336-1327 BC), discovered by Howard Carter in 1922. Bouquets were also included in the funerary goods in the antechamber of his tomb.

Garlands were sometimes placed on the wrapped mummy within the coffin. Examples have been found from both royal and private burials. The mummy of King Amenhotep I, later one of the patron deities of the Theban necropolis (cemetery), was found with floral garlands still intact.

Garlands were also placed over the bead nets that covered the bandages from the beginning of the first millennium BC. They were also often represented on anthropoid (human-shaped) coffins, like that of Ankhefenmut also in The British Museum. They can also be seen on figures of Ptah-Sokar-Osiris from the New Kingdom (about 1550-1070 BC) onwards.

These funerary garlands were made by entwining individual flowers and leaves with strips of papyrus or palm fronds. Individual garlands were linked so that they formed rows covering the entire body. They symbolized the fact that the deceased had successfully answered the questions of the tribunal at the judgement, and could now proceed to the Afterlife.

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Width: 1.400 cm (max.)
Length: 15.100 cm (max.)

Museum number

EA 90023



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