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coffin

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    EA22814

  • Description

    Base and lid of an anthropoid outer coffin of Seshepenmehyt: made of sycomore fig wood, with elaborate polychrome painted decoration. A winged solar disc covers the right breast, and below, a narrow scene showing the weighing of the deceased's heart (at right). At the level of the knees, Anubis is represented mummifying the deceased as she lies on a bier, while figures of other deities give symbolic protection. The area is densely inscribed with short columns of text interspersed among these images, and there is a large painted inscription around the sides and the base. On the interior of the case is a large mummiform figure grasping a 'was' sceptre and wearing the 'atef' crown. The deity represented is Ptah-Sokar-Osiris. He is flanked by Isis and Nephthys and has a solar disc above his head. The thickness of the coffin is painted with a checkered pattern.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 600BC (circa)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 160 millimetres
    • Width: 1770 millimetres
    • Depth: 550 millimetres (Dimensions of base when horizontal)
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Script

        hieroglyphic
      • Inscription Comment

        Painted.
  • Curator's comments

    In set with .22814 In set with 1869,1007.3

    The inscriptions tell us little of Seshepenmehyt beyond the fact that she was 'lady of the house' and that she played the sistrum to accompany rituals in the temple of Amun-Ra at Thebes. X-rays of the mummy show that beneath the wrappings, is the body of an adult, who died between 25 and 40 years of age.

    Bibliography:
    B. Porter & R. Moss, 'Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Reliefs and Paintings' I (Part 2) (Oxford, 1964), p. 673;
    C. Andrews, ‘Egyptian Mummies’ (2nd ed.) (London, 1998), p. 63, figs. 63-64;
    Taylor in W. V. Davies (ed.), 'Colour and painting in ancient Egypt' (London, 2001), pl. 54 (3);
    J. H. Taylor and N. Strudwick (eds.), ‘The Theban Necropolis : past, present and future’ (London, 2003), pl. 75;
    J.H. Taylor and N.C. Strudwick, Mummies: Death and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt. Treasures from The British Museum, Santa Ana and London 2005, pp. 62-3, pl. on p. 62.

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  • Bibliography

    • Taylor & Strudwick 2005 p.62-63 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Condition

    good

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1869

  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number

    EA22814

  • Registration number

    1869,1007.2

  • Additional IDs

    • 22814A
Base and lid of an anthropoid outer coffin of Seshepenmehyt, made of sycomore fig wood, with elaborate polychrome painted decoration: winged solar disc covers breast and, at the level of the knees, Anubis is represented mummifying the deceased, densely inscribed; inside the base Sokar is represented, flanked by Isis and Nephthys, inscribed with a register of hieroglyphs on exterior.

Base and lid of an anthropoid outer coffin of Seshepenmehyt, made of sycomore fig wood, with elaborate polychrome painted decoration: winged solar disc covers breast and, at the level of the knees, Anubis is represented mummifying the deceased, densely inscribed; inside the base Sokar is represented, flanked by Isis and Nephthys, inscribed with a register of hieroglyphs on exterior.

Image description

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Object reference number: YCA55931

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