Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Sarcophagus

Period:
Middle Kingdom
Dynasty:
Dynasty 12
Reign:
reign of Senwosret I
Date:
ca. 1961–1917 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt, Memphite Region, Lisht South, Grand Mastaba du Nord, Burial chamber, MMA excavations, 1908–09
Medium:
Granite or granodiorite
Dimensions:
l. 231 cm (35 7/16 in); w. 90 cm (90 15/16 in); h. 82 cm (32 5/16 in)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1909
Accession Number:
09.180.528a.1–.2
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 110
The mummies of the ancient Egyptian elite were placed into wooden coffins; in some cases, these coffins were further enclosed in outer coffins of wood or in stone sarcophagi. This sarcophagus has a vaulted lid and the bottom is shaped as if the case stood on four battens, useful for wooden coffins but not for stone. The piece thus repesents a wooden coffin in stone. Unlike most wooden coffins, this stone example is not decorated, demonstrating the delight Egyptians took in the nobility of simple stone surfaces.

At each end of the lid the stonemasons left a knob to facilitate the handling of the heavy piece. After the lid was put in place, the knobs were removed.

This coffin was found with a stone canopic chest (see 09.180.528b.1–.2).
Excavated by the Egyptian Expedition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Acquired by the Museum in the division of finds.

Hayes, William C. 1953. Scepter of Egypt I: A Background for the Study of the Egyptian Antiquities in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Part I: From the Earliest Times to the End of the Middle Kingdom. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 322.

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