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Anthropoid Coffin of an Amun-priestess

Date the first part of the 10th century
Object type tomb equipment
Medium, technique wood, paint, varnish
Dimensions

189 x 52 x 56 cm (at bottom) (74 7/16 x 20 1/2 x 22 1/16 in.)

Inventory number 51.2094.1-2
Collection Egyptian Art
On view This artwork can be displayed at the permanent exhibition

The colour scheme of the coffin decoration is polychrome on a yellow background. The decorative wig is adorned by a vulture headdress representing the protective goddess Nekhbet. The wesekh-collar covers the entire upper body to the line of the hip. The hands, resting on the chest, are opened with palms turn downwards. Below the collar, the decoration field is divided into two pictorial bands to the line of the knees in which offering scenes can be seen with the central figure of Osiris. The sun disc on his head is a clear iconographical allusion to the identification of the funerary god with the nocturnal form of the sun god. The pictorial fields below the knees, however, follow a different pattern: the horizontal division is replaced by a vertical scheme. The offering scenes placed in three columns are divided by hieroglyphic bands. Both sides of the coffin case are covered by inscriptions aligned in columns which are broken by a single scene panel with the motif of the “cow goddess coming out from the mountain” at the end of the left side. The scene catches the moment when the goddess Hathor, as a cow, emerges from the western mountain, i.e. the entrance of the netherworld, in order to welcome the deceased there. The inner surface with yellow background is richly decorated. At the top of the head there is a frequently appearing motif, the ba-bird, which stands with outstretched wings and legs representing one of the spiritual aspects of the deceased. On both sides, mummified otherworldly figures line up in groups, each consisting of three members.

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