Coffin of Nesykhonsu (lid)

Coffin of Nesykhonsu (lid)

c. 976-889 BC

Part of a set. See all set records

Gessoed and painted sycamore fig

Overall: 211 cm (83 1/16 in.)

Gift of the John Huntington Art and Polytechnic Trust 1914.714.b


Did you know?

Two of Nesykhonsu's titles, "Lady of the House" and "Singer of the Choir of Mut the Great," are written on the outside of the coffin.


A complete set of coffins during the late New Kingdom and Third Intermediate Period consisted of an outer and inner coffin and a mummy board (essentially a lid without a case, placed directly over the wrapped mummy). Judging by its size, this must have been Nesykhonsu's outer coffin. The type is essentially the same as the coffin of Bakenmut, which was also an outer coffin. The two coffins are said to have been found together and to have belonged to a man and wife. This is quite possible, although the inscriptions do not bear it out. Bakenmut is not mentioned on Nesykhonsu's coffin, nor is she mentioned on his. There was by this time a tremendous repertoire of scenes appropriate for coffin decoration. Whereas Bakenmut's coffin features images of deified dead pharaohs, Nesykhonsu's is decorated in a more personal way with scenes from her own funeral. The main scene in the interior (near the top) shows a priest clad in a panther skin with the mummy of Nesykhonsu behind. The god appears in mummy form and wears a sun disk on his head. The scarab beetle inside the sun disk identifies him as Khepri, the morning sun, and the hieroglyphs to the right identify him as Atum, the evening sun. Taken together, image and text represent the sun god in both his rising and setting, youthful and aged aspects.

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