Anthropoid Coffin
Date Roman Period, 30 B.C.-395 A.D.
Dimensions Overall: 68 13/16 x 18 1/2 in. (174.8 x 47 cm)
Medium Wood | Gesso | Polychrome
Credit Line Gift of Jack Chrysler in Memory of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.
Description This is the top half of an anthropoid coffin in two parts. Hieroglyphic inscriptions throughout both sections of the coffin. Massive deterioration and flaking of the painted surface.; The lid shows the head of the deceased, wearing a long wig and vulture wings that frame the face. The deceased also wears an amulet, an eye, on his/her forehead. Under the large elaborated collars is a representation of the dead as Osiris (with a false beard) lying on a lion-shaped bed. Under the later stand four canopic jars, shaped with the heads of a jackal, a hawk, a baboon and a man. Above the bier one can see the ba taking flight out of the mummy, as a bird with arms and face of the deceased. The scene takes place between lotus blossoms. (For a somehow similar and clearer picture - though small - cf. SHAW I., NICHOLSON P., The Dictionary Of Ancient Egypt, The British Museum Press, London, 1995, p. 190). ; On each side of this central scene, turned toward it, is a group of three deities painted one above the other: on the left, a snake god (though with legs and arms) wearing the red crown of Lower Egypt, a kneeling goddess, and a baboon-headed god sitting on a throne; on the right, a similar snake god, wearing the crown of Upper Egypt (usually white, but red here), Nephtys (recognizable at the signs of her name she carries on her head) , and another baboon-headed god. All these deities rise their arms toward the mummy.; According to Burt Luckner, on the foot area (upside down) is the scene of the weighing of the soul.; Around the lid runs the body of snake.; In the bottom of the coffin is the goddess Nut, crowned with a sun disk, and standing on a sacred standard and the sign shen (symbol of infinite protection). There is a hawk underneath, standing also on a standard and a shen, an image of a solar god (Ra or Horus).;
Object Label Anthropoid Coffin Roman Period, 30 B.C.- A.D. 395 Polychrome and gesso over wood Gift of Jack F. Chrysler, in memory of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. 93.32.1 This coffin was likely made by provincial craftsmen far from the great centers of artistic production. Yet it offers a remarkable array of painted images reflecting Egyptian concepts of death and the afterlife. On the coffin lid, the face of the deceased is shown wearing a long wig framed with vulture wings and set with an amulet-an eye-on his forehead. Beneath his wide, elaborate collars he appears again as Osiris, god of the dead and the underworld, lying on a lion-shaped bier. Above this flies a bird with a human head and arms. This represents the mummy's ba, the part of the soul that could move in death between the netherworld and the living. Below the bier are four canopic jars, which in a richly-fitted tomb traditionally held the mummy's liver, lungs, stomach, and intestines. The jars bear the heads of a jackal, hawk, baboon, and man, symbolizing the four sons of Horus, who guarded the mummy's viscera in the afterlife. The sky goddess Nut appears on the inside of the coffin base. Symbolizing resurrection and rebirth, Nut was believed to swallow the sun every day at dusk, only to give birth to it again the following dawn. She is shown here crowned with a sun disk in which her name is written. She balances on a processional standard with the sign shen, symbol of infinite protection. The hawk beneath her is a manifestation of the sun god, Re. The deceased's hope of protection and spiritual rebirth after death is revealed not only in these images, but in the offering prayer to Osiris on the lid, which reads in part: "Food for Osiris, bread and beer…the forms of making the life and sustenance of the gods…he lifts his arm to all sorts of life and death."
Object Number 93.32.1a