Wooden inner coffin of Nestawedjat

Probably from Thebes, Egypt
25th Dynasty, around 700 BC

The mummy of Nestawedjat, daughter of Djedmutefankh, was enclosed in three wooden coffins that echo the human form ('anthropoid'). This is the innermost of the set. It depicts the dead woman as a mummy standing on a rectangular plinth, with a dorsal pillar rising to the base of the wig. This arrangement became popular around the end of the eighth century BC, and is seen in sculpture and shabti figures of the same period.

The exterior and interior of the coffin are covered with religious images and hieroglyphic texts. Below the pedestal is a scene showing the Apis bull carrying the mummy of Nestawedjat eastwards, towards the rising sun and the source of new life.

Nestawedjat is also given magical assistance by the scenes and texts painted on the interior of the coffin. On the lid two deities are shown, either side of Nestawedjat's heart, which rests upon a plinth (as in the vignette of chapter 28 of the Book of the Dead), while below is a figure of the goddess Isis. The inscriptions renew the promise of offerings to sustain Nestawedjat's spirit in the Afterlife.

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Length: 174.000 cm

Museum number

EA 22812



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