Siltstone sarcophagus of Sasobek
Perhaps from Sais,
26th Dynasty, around 630 BC
The northern vizier of Egypt
This is the
The sarcophagus is
one of the finest examples of its type, and very well preserved.
While many anthropoid (human-shaped) sarcophagi have rather
exaggerated features, Sasobek's face is naturalistic
(although not a portrait) and serene. Sasobek holds the pillar
representing the god
Stone sarcophagi were first used in Egypt for burying the dead at the beginning of the Old Kingdom (about 2613 BC). The first examples of containers for the body that echoed the human form are from the Middle Kingdom (about 2040-1750 BC), but made of wood only. The first stone anthropoid sarcophagi were made in the New Kingdom (about 1550-1070 BC), although generally only for people of the highest rank, including kings.
M-L Buhl, The Late Egyptian anthropoid s (Kobenhavn, 1959)
S. Quirke and A.J. Spencer, The British Museum book of anc (London, The British Museum Press, 1992)