In these rather splendid coffins was buried a woman called Nephthys, who held the title of Mayor’s Daughter and lived during the Middle Kingdom in the reigns of Senwosret I & Senwosret II (so around 4000 years ago). She was found in her coffins in an intact burial at Meir.

She wasn’t the original owner of the coffins – her name looks added into the inscription later, and previously the coffin was inscribed for a man called Ukhhotep. You can’t see it on this photo, but the text of the name is in a subtly different colour to the rest.

The outer coffin (box shaped) is made of wood – sycomore and ziziphus wood, which are both (I think!) found in Egypt. So not the highest quality of wood (that would be imported woods like cedar) but the planks look pretty straight and even so it was an expensive coffin.

The inner coffin is made of cartonnage (which is like papier-mâché but made with linen and plaster) and has a gilded face, and a broad collar made of inlaid stones. I particularly like the colour of the gold, which gives the effect of being both golden and skin coloured.

Coffins of Nephthys. From Cemetery of Meir. Middle Kingdom, Dynasty 12, reign Senwosret I – Senwosret II, c. 1961-1878 BCE. Acc. No.s: 11.150.15a-c

The coffins (and Nephthys) are now in the Met Museum, acc. no.s: 11.150.15a-c.

See it on my photo site: and go one to the right for an angle where you can see the text alteration.

Jigsaw Puzzles:

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