Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Inner coffin of Ankhshepenwepet

Period:
Late Period, Kushite
Dynasty:
Dynasty 25
Date:
ca. 712–664 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Deir el-Bahri, Tomb MMA 56, MMA excavations, 1923–24
Medium:
Wood, gesso, paint
Dimensions:
L. 188 cm (74 in)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1925
Accession Number:
25.3.202a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 126
The Singer of the Residence of Amun, Ankhshepenwepet, was buried in a tomb within the precinct of Hatshepsut's temple in Deir el-Bahri. The burial was plundered and no traces were left of her mummy, which would have been placed in the inner coffin.

The inner coffin of Ankhshepenwepet has a new shape which was developed during Dynasty 25. It is broader, with square shoulders and an over-sized head. On her head she wears a lappet wig (the hair painted blue), and a vulture headdress formerly worn by only queens and goddesses. The decoration on the lid includes the scene of the weighing of the heart from the Book of the Dead, and below it, for the first time on coffins, the mummy is depicted. It lies on an embalmer's bed and a ba-bird, symbolizing Ankhshepenwepet's spirit, hovers above it (see detail photo). Beneath the bed are two groups of objects; four canopic jars and four viscera bundles (containing the internal organs). The fact that the bundles are depicted suggests that the jars are "dummy" canopic jars, like the ones in Ankhshepenwepet's tomb (25.3.205a-d).
Museum excavations 1923–24. Acquired by the Museum in the division of finds, 1925.

Winlock, Herbert E. 1924. "The Egyptian Expedition 1923–1924: The Museum's Excavations at Thebes." In The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, vol. 19, no. 12 (December, Supplement), p. 31, fig. 36.

Aston, David 2009. Burial Assemblages of Dynasty 21–25: Chronology – Typology – Developments. Contributions to the chronology of the Eastern Mediterranean, vol. 21, Denkschriften der Gesamtakademie, 56. Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, p. 198.

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