skip to content

Detail from inner coffin lid from Papeku's coffin set
Unkown Maker 
About 680- 665 BC 
Outer Coffin ( 2.10m long) Inner Coffin (1.8m long) 


According to Helen Strudwick Associate Curator (Ancient Egypt), this wooden coffin set which belonged to a man called Pakepu, was made to fit one inside the other. They were presented as a gift to the Fitzwilliam Museum in 1869 by the future King Edward VII. They were said to come from Thebes, the ancient site at Luxor, which is about 450 miles south of Cairo.

Pakepu is described on his coffins as a “water pourer on the West of Thebes”. This means he was a person who could be employed by families to maintain the funerary cults of their dead relatives. He would have been expected to visit their tombs on the west bank of the Nile and perform rituals there, including pouring water for the dead. On the basis of the style of the coffin and its decoration, we believe Pakepu’s coffins were made about 680–665 BC. This would mean that he lived during a period when Egypt was ruled by Nubians from northern Sudan.

You can find out more about Pakepu’s coffin set on the Ancient Egyptian Coffins Project website:



Look, Think, Do

  View all