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Mummy: The Inside Story
The painted cartonnage case
Inside Nesperennub's outer wooden coffin was an elaborately painted cartonnage case. This was made by applying up to twenty layers of linen soaked in glue or plaster to a disposable, mummy-shaped core, probably of mud and straw. While the linen layers were still pliable, a long incision was made at the back and the core was removed. The mummy was put inside the tough shell through this opening and then the two sides were tightly laced together with string. This type of coffin was cheaper and easier to make than one of stone or wood, and once the mummy was sealed inside, the case could not be removed without breaking it. This prevented reuse of coffins by unscrupulous mortuary officials.
coated with fine white plaster, the cartonnage case was painted.
The upper section shows the sun god as a scarab beetle with a
falcon's head and wings, with two serpent goddesses and the
The text on the front of the cartonnage case reads: 'An offering which the king gives to Osiris, so that he might give life to the Beloved of the God, the Libationer of Khons of Benenet, Nesperennub, son of the like-titled Ankhefenkhons, justified.' This reveals that Nesperennub and his father worked as priests in the great religious complex of Karnak.