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Fragment of an Open-work Mummy Board

Place of production Egypt
Date 13th–11th centuries B.C.
Object type tomb equipment
Medium, technique Wood (openwork technique)

height: 19 cm

Inventory number 51.2520
Collection Egyptian Art
On view Museum of Fine Arts, Basement Floor, Ancient Egypt, Funerary beliefs

The fragment represents a man striding forward with his left leg. His arms are lifted in a gesture of praying or approaching (greeting) the god. The left hand is broken. Based on the characteristic style of the garment, the object can be dated to the Ramesside Period (Nineteenth–Twentieth Dynasties). In this period the typical Theban coffin set (consisting of a wooden mummiform inner coffin and a wooden outer container of the same form) was supplemented with a third part: a one- or two-piece wooden board similar to the lid of the mummiform coffins which covered the whole body and was directly laid on the bandaged mummy. This type of open-work mummy board was designed in Thebes during the reign of Ramesses II. The objects were often painted and usually consisted of two pieces: one covering the face and the chest and another placed on the lower part of the body from chest to feet. In the case of open-work pieces, the undecorated parts of the surface were removed until only the figures, and text panels remained, while the open parts made the cover “transparent” and left the mummy bandages visible. The Budapest fragment may have decorated the right side of the lower part of a two-piece mummy board. It can be assumed that in front of the man, an offering table was placed, while he faced the figure of a funerary god (Osiris or one of the Sons of Horus).

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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