Sarcophagus fragment



Accession Number
EC357
Current Location
House of Life (first floor), Maths and writing case, Writing
Object Type
Tomb equipment, Coffin/sarcophagus/cartonnage
Period
Graeco-Roman Period
Dynasty
Ptolemaic Period
Material
Wood
Measurements
Length: 500mm | Width: 275mm | Depth: 89mm
Number of Elements
1
Culture
Egyptian
Divine Name
Atum | Atumet | Isis | Nephthys | Osiris | Sobeq | Sobeqet

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Description

EC357 is an end section of a wooden sarcophagus dating to the Ptolemaic Period. Only the exterior face is decorated, with the central scene being carved at a slightly lower level than the border strips above and below. The upper strip is decorated with incised hieroglyphs, with both the hieroglyphs and figures below being crudely carved. Additionally, the line below the hieroglyphs in the upper strip is unfinished, while the lower strip is completely void of any decoration. In the upper strip, the centre of the inscription contains a sun-disk flanked by uraei, with parallel texts reading away from it. They read “words spoken: hail the Osiris, ‘He who Hides’, Petosiris. While the final hieroglyphs of the name are partially lost, they are fully preserved on EC356. The title i͗mn, meaning “He who Hides” or “The Hidden One”, is rarely attested and seems to have been mainly associated with the sixth Upper Egyptian nome. This priestly title is attested from the Late Period onwards (Klotz 2014, 731–2). The central scene of EC357 is decorated with an image of Isis (on the right) and Nephthys (on the left) flanking to so-called fetish of Abydos, the sacred emblem of Osiris. Behind Nephthys are Atum and his female counterpart Atumet, who wield knives. On the opposite side, behind Isis, are the deities Sobeq and Sobeqet, who are also shown holding knives. While Atum is well attested, the other three are not. This is particularly the case with the pair of Sebeq and Sebeqet (LGG VI, 256–7). These four deities are commonly represented with Isis and Nephthys flanking the fetish of Abydos, as is the case with EC357. This includes the coffins of Wenenefer (Cairo CG 29310), Horemheb (Cairo TR 22/1/21/3), and Panehemisis (Kunsthistorisches Museum 4). Additionally, in pBrooklyn 47.218.138, which contains a series of spells for the protection of the king against poisonous snakes, scorpions, and spiders, these four deities are referred to as “the four Akh-spirits who keep watch over the majesty of Osiris” (Goyon 2012, 17). The object was part of the same sarcophagus as EC356 and EC434, all of which were purchased at auction in 1932. They can be traced back to the collection of Martyn Kennard, which was sold in 1912.

Bibliography

De Caluwe, Albert 1990. De houten sarcofaag E. 7042 van de Koninklijke Musea voor Kunst en Geschiedenis te Brussel. D.Phil thesis, Universiteit Gent. [pp. 218–221] de Wit, C. 1956. Quelques objets intéressants de la collection égyptienne des Musées. Bulletin des Musées Royaux d'Art et d'Histoire 28, 21–30. Goyon, Jean-Claude 2012. Le recueil de prophylaxie contre les agressions des animaux venimeux du Musée de Brooklyn: papyrus Wilbour 47.218.138. Studien zur spätägyptischen Religion 5. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Klotz, David 2014. Regionally specific sacerdotal titles in Late Period Egypt: soubassements vs. private monuments. In Rickert, Alexa and Bettina Ventker (eds), Altägyptische Enzyklopädien. Die Soubassements in den Tempeln der griechisch-römischen Zeit: Soubassementstudien I 2, 717–792. Studien zur spätägyptischen Religion 7. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Leitz, Christian 2011. Der Sarg des Panehemisis in Wien. Zeichnungen von Victoria Altmann. Mit einer detaillierten Bilddokumentation der Särge des Panehemisis und Horemhab auf DVD. Studien zur spätägyptischen Religion 3 ([1]). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.

Wellcome Number
A125354
Auction
Sotheby, Wilkinson, & Hodge: 16–19 Jul 1912, Lot 518 | Glendining and Co.: 24–25 Oct 1932, Lot 37
Auction Details
Lot 518: Two Ends and a Corner Post from a large wooden Sarcophagus; carved with incised figures of gods, inscriptions, etc. Lot 37: Three massive pieces of ancient Egyptian wood sarcophagus case, carved in hieroglyphs.
Previous Owners
Henry Martyn Kennard (1833–1911) | Sir Henry Solomon Wellcome (1853–1936)
Acquisition
Long-term loan, The Wellcome Trust (15 Feb 1971)

Inscription

ḏd mdw hꜣ wsi͗r i͗mn pꜣ-di͗-wsi͗r Words spoken: Hail the Osiris, ‘He who Hides’, Petosiris

Language
Egyptian
Script
Hieroglyphic
Personal Name
Padiusir (pꜣ-di͗-wsi͗r)
Last modified: 22 Jan 2023

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