Gallery 19: Case 17
The coffins of Nespawershefyt
This set of coffins was made to contain the body of Nespawershefyt, an important official at the temple of Amun at Karnak who lived around 990-940 BC. At this period people no longer had elaborately decorated tomb chapels, choosing to put the decoration on the coffins instead.
As good-quality wood is scarce in Egypt, wooden objects are often made up of many pieces of wood. These coffins include pieces of Ziziphus spina-Christi (Christ's thorn) and Ficus sycomorus (sycomore fig). To cover up any joins or patches, a thin layer of gesso (plaster) was laid over the wood, which provided a good surface for the application of coloured pigments. The glossy, bright yellow varnish is very typical of the finish applied to decorated surfaces at this period.
It is not known where they acquired them, or what happened to the body of Nespawershefyt, but he is likely to have been buried at Thebes, near Karnak.