Outer coffin of Amenemopet

Third Intermediate Period

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 126

Amenemope was a God's Father of Amun, Scribe of the Double Treasury of the Lord of the Two Lands and the House of Amun, and a member of a prominent priestly family at Thebes that had retained the same offices for generations. The two coffins are said to come from Sheikh Abd el-Qurna, in Western Thebes.

The outer and inner coffins are very similar in shape and decoration. The lids each feature a well-modeled face and the curved beard indicative of the deified dead. The exposed hands hold the mekes, or document case, associated with royalty. The body is slim and the kneecaps protuberant, and each figure wears a bright red cloth, or stola, that encircles the neck and whose ends emerge beneath the folded arms. The stola, mekes, and oversize collar are among the features that scholars have, in recent decades, recognized as distinctive of the era between 975 and 909 B.C.

The figural decoration on each lid is in miniature, finely executed in a polychrome palette. For the most part, the scenes illustrated are those of adoration and presentation. The gods usually appear in raised relief, while the deceased is shown in painted line only.

The decoration on the inside of the outer box includes various religious and emblematic scenes centered on the mummified figure of the deified Amenhotep I. On the inside of the inner coffin, other figures of the same king also appear, though in an area that has been smudged with embalming fluid.

Outer coffin of Amenemopet, Wood, paste, paint

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Front view of the lid of Amenemopet's outer coffin.