Gallery 19: Case 25
The development of Egyptian coffins
Four wooden coffins trace the development of burial containers from the Middle Kingdom to the Late Period.
Khety's burial dates to late Dynasty 11 or early Dynasty 12, around 1985-1950 BC. His coffin is a typical rectangular box coffin with the rather plain decoration usual for this date. Userhet's coffin (about 1885-1850 BC) is made from a single piece of Ficus sycomorus (sycomore fig) which was cut in half and hollowed out, and it is shaped into the forma of a man wrapped in linen, wearing a funerary mask.
The mummy-case of Nakhtefmut can be dated to around 925-890 BC. It is made of a material known as cartonnage, produced by wrapping layers of linen soaked in glue around a mud core in the shape of a body. Pakepu was a 'Water carrier on the west of Thebes', who lived around 700-650 BC. His coffins are made of pieces of wood patched together, the joins covered with a thick layer of plaster. The cruder, larger-scale painting would have been much quicker to execute.