This is a relatively unusual object – it’s a human shaped granite sarcophagus, which is not unusual in itself but it belonged to a private individual who lived during the New Kingdom and at that period it was generally only royalty who got stone sarcophagi.

The man who was once buried in it was called Usermontu, and he held a suite of high ranking titles including High Priest of Montu and Overseer of the Treasury. This reinforces the impression of very high status that’s implied by the sarcophagus.

And he didn’t just have one stone sarcophagus – in his tomb (TT382) there’s another larger black one, into which this one presumably fitted (this one wasn’t found in the tomb, it was originally bought in Egypt from an antiquities dealer in 1913).

Yet another indicator of his prestige is the size of his tomb, which is bigger than the others around it. That tomb was known at the beginning of the 20th Century, but somehow misplaced and only rediscovered in 2010 when some modern buildings were demolished.

Anthropoid Sarcophagus of Usermontu. Probably from Theban Tomb 382. New Kingdom, Dynasty 19, reign of Ramesses II, c. 1279-1213 BCE. Acc. No.: 17.190.2042 a-c

This sarcophagus is now in the Met Museum, acc. no.: 17.190.2042

See it on my photo site:

Jigsaw Puzzles:

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