Anthropoid coffin

Accession Number

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A wooden anthropoid coffin dating to the late Twenty-fifth or early Twenty-sixth Dynasty. Parts of the coffin are constructed of wood, which is covered by painted textile to provide an smooth surface. Highly decorated with hieroglyphs and depictions of deities. The interior of the lid is decorated with a large image of the goddess Nut. The coffin was originally inscribed for Ankhapakhered, son of Padiese and Tawer, as can mainly be seen with the inscriptions on the interior of the coffin. At an unknown date, perhaps the Ptolemaic Period, the coffin was usurped for a man called Djedhor, a Stolist at Akhmim, who was the son of Harsiese (also a Stolist at Akhmim) and Ibity. The usurpations are evident on the exterior of the lid only. The titles might suggest that the coffin was transferred to Akhmim for reuse. The coffin was gifted to the Egypt Centre in 1997 from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. Details about its history are a little sketchy, although it is known that was present in Aberystwyth by at least 1910. The museum acquisition record for 1900–1901 contains the following record, which might be related to the coffin: "An Egyptian mummy. Presented by Mr. James Wilson (Wilson Bey, Cairo), per Mr. Thomas Davies, J. P. Bootle." The coffin was used as a storage box at one time, with other Egyptian objects placed in it for safekeeping. This potentially includes the aforementioned mummy, which was sent to St. Thomas' Hospital in London in order to be examined. Despite the coffin belonging to two men, the body belonged to that of a woman. The mummy was later given by Dr Dick Kittermaster, a pathologist at St. Thomas' Hospital, to Uplands Community Technology College in Wadhurst. While here, the body was re-examined by Professor Rosalie David of the KNH Centre in Manchester. A letter from A. F. Shore of the British Museum (dated 01 July 1964) states that the mummy was found in the coffin of Ankhpakhered, although it is unclear if both the coffin and the mummy were donated to Aberystwyth at the same time. When the coffin arrived in Swansea in 1997 it contained four separate pieces of cartonnage. A gold mask (AB125), a collar and torso (AB124), a long section to cover the legs (AB123), and a section to cover the upper chest area. Stylistically, these date to the Ptolemaic Period. This latter section is currently at Cardiff University undergoing conservation along with the coffin.


The Calendar of the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth. 29th Session 1900–1901 [p. 275]

Last modified: 18 Feb 2021

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