Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Outer 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. 200 cm (78 3/4 in)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1925
Accession Number:
25.3.1a, 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 this painted coffin, which is part of a set of nested containers; 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.
Djedmutesankh's outer coffin was decorated with funerary symbols meant to assist her in her transformation into one of the blessed dead. It exhibits the horror vacui characteristic of her era, with serried ranks of gods and goddesses covering much of the surface. The face, earrings, breasts, and hands have been torn away.
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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