Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Inner Coffin of Djedmutesankh

Third Intermediate Period
Dynasty 21
ca. 1000–945 B.C.
From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Deir el-Bahri, Tomb MMA 60, Chamber B, Burial of Djedmutesankh (5), MMA excavations, 1922–24
Wood, paint, gesso
L. 186 cm (73 1/3 in)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1925
Accession Number:
25.3.2a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 126
The Lady Djedmutesankh was buried with a number of other members of her wealthy extended family in a tomb in on the West Bank at Thebes. Her exalted position is reflected by her titles, which include "Leading Lady" and "First Chief of the Harim of Amun"; she was most likely a wife of a High Priest of Amun. Her burial assemblage includes a set of nested coffins; an Osiris shroud; leather braces; amulets; wax viscera figures; two funerary papyri: an Osiris figure; and two wooden boxes full of crudely formed shabti figures. Despite her high rank, her coffin was plundered in ancient times.

Echoing the decoration of her outer coffin, Djedmutesankh's inner coffin was decorated with religious symbols and rows of funerary deities; this repertoire is repeated again on the mummy board that was placed inside, directly over her wrapped mummy. There are differences in the icons chosen and in the details, for example, of her wigs, but all three elements of this set served the same essential purpose: to enable Djedmutesankh to make a successful transition from death to eternal life as one of the blessed dead.
Museum excavations 1923–24. Acquired by the Museum in the division of finds, 1925.

Winlock, Herbert E. 1924. "The Egyptian Expedition 1923–1924: The Museum's Excavations at Thebes." In The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, vol. 19, no. 12 (December, Supplement), p. 24-28; p. 27, figs. 28 & 29.

Aston, David 2009. Burial Assemblages of Dynasty 21–25: Chronology – Typology – Developments. Contributions to the chronology of the Eastern Mediterranean, vol. 21, Denkschriften der Gesamtakademie, 56. Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, p. 199.

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