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Painted wooden coffin of Bakrenes

 

Length: 190.500 cm

Gift of King Edward VII

EA 15654

Ancient Egypt and Sudan

    Painted wooden coffin of Bakrenes

    From Thebes, Egypt
    25th Dynasty, around 680 BC

    The face of this mummiform coffin represents Bakrenes in the ideal state of youth and physical perfection which she hoped to attain after death. Her striped wig indicates that she has ascended to the status of a divine being.

    The lid of the coffin is divided into compartments containing scenes and inscriptions relating to the Afterlife. One scene shows Bakrenes' heart being weighed in the balance of judgement. A successful balance would indicate that her life had been free from wrongdoing, and she would be given access to the next life. Having passed this test, the dead woman is introduced by the ibis-headed Thoth to the sun-god Re-Horakhty and the four Sons of Horus, who guard the internal organs of the mummy.

    Near the bottom of the coffin is a scene showing the mummy of Bakrenes lying on a bier beneath the life-giving rays of the sun. On the projecting foot is a mummified falcon representing the funerary god Ptah-Sokar. This figure is inverted, so as to make it clearly visible to the deceased as she looked out through the eyes of the face-mask.

    The large coloured inscriptions around the case of the coffin invoke the gods Re-Horakhty, Atum, Ptah-Sokar-Osiris and Anubis, who promise to provide offerings for the dead woman.

    W.R. Dawson and P.H.K. Gray, Catalogue of Egyptian antiquit (London, 1968)

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