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Third Intermediate Period coffin fragments

The Egyptians began to use containers for the body in burials before the 1st dynasty. Coffins were mostly box-like during the Old Kingdom and the characteristic Egyptian anthropoid (human shaped) type appeared first in the Middle Kingdom. The development of coffins is very complex, and scholarly works on most types remain to be published. Different types are very characteristic of different periods, and are very important for dating other finds.

Excavations inside TT99 brought to light over 14,000 fragments of coffins of many different types. So far they all appear to date to the Third Intermediate Period, following investigation by John Taylor during our first study season. For one unusual example, the openwork coffin of Nyniu, click here. For example, we have parts of outer wooden box coffins (as that of Horempe shown below), plain anthropoid coffins which went inside them (fragment of Wedjahor's below), and decorated wooden or cartonnage anthropoid coffins which went inside the plain wooden coffin.

  • Wedjahor
  • Horenpe
  • Jackals
  • Foot of coffin
Wedjahor coffin
Wedjahor coffin

A fragment of a coffin of Wedjahor (99.95.0108)

A fragment of the second coffin of Wedjahor

Horempe coffin Horempe coffin

A fragment of the outer coffin of Horempe (99.95.0170)

Part of a corner post of the outer coffin of Horempe (99.95.0244)

The following pictures show two wooden jackals which would have sat on top of the box coffins (99.94.0004 and 99.97.0489). The first was reassembled from several fragments, and is relatively unusual in that its tail is straight and does not drop down the back of the coffin:

Jackal from top of coffin
headless jackal

The fragments below come from the foot end of a coffin probably of 26th dynasty date. Together they show a protective figure of the goddess Isis. The texts which accompany her are offering formulae, and they are painted in rather crude hieroglyphs (99.97.0440 and 99.97.0508)

© Nigel Strudwick 1997-2014