Mummy Coffin of Pedusiri
Mummy Coffin of Pedusiri, ca. 500–250 BC
Plastered, polychromed, and gilded wood
84 × 30 3/4 × 13 3/4 in. (213.36 × 78.11 × 34.93 cm)
Photo credit Michael Tropea
Aside from the pyramids, mummies and their coffins are the objects most associated with ancient Egypt. This anthropoid-shaped wood coffin is an excellent example of the artistic and religious practices in the late Dynastic and early Greco-Roman periods. Its beautifully painted ornaments and hieroglyphs invoke the gods to protect the deceased-a man named Pedusiri, whose mummy has not survived. His prepared body was probably enclosed in a cartonnage-a casing of plastered, painted, and varnished linen-before being placed in the coffin. The exterior decorations consist of an idealized gold face mask, a blue-painted head cloth, and an exquisite funerary collar with hawk-headed terminals that hold the strands of beads in place. The registers across the body depict the sky goddess Nut, with magnificent outspread wings, and a rare scene detailing the mummification process, attended by a ritual priest dressed as Anubis, the jackal-headed god of the afterlife. Below the embalming bed are canopic jars, which were used to house the viscera of the now deceased body; their lids are decorated with protective deities in the shape of a human, a falcon, a jackal, and a baboon.
This information is subject to change as the result of ongoing research.