c. 1918-1859 BC
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Gessoed and painted cedar
Overall: 70 x 55 cm (27 9/16 x 21 5/8 in.)
Gift of the John Huntington Art and Polytechnic Trust 1914.716
The most common type of coffin during the Middle Kingdom took the shape of a rectangular box with lid. The mummy inside was placed on his left side, facing east, his head behind the two magical eyes. These—in the shape of human eyes, to which have been added the markings of a falcon's head—were supposed to enable him to behold the rising sun, reborn daily. The long horizontal inscriptions are prayers to Anubis (god of embalming) and Osiris (god of the dead) for offerings of food and drink and other items necessary for survival in the afterlife. The short vertical inscriptions place him under the protection of the gods of earth, sky, air, and moisture, as well as various funerary deities.
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