Outer coffin of the Child Myt

Middle Kingdom

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 105

This is the outer coffin of the child, Myt. She was buried in a set of two wooden coffins that were laid one inside the other and placed in a limestone sarcophagus.The mummy of Myt showed that she died as a little girl, probably not more than five years old. The embalmers added substantial padding to her feet and her head, which made the mummy much longer so that it looked like that of an adult. Myt’s tomb was robbed in antiquity, but her sarcophagus was not opened, and five precious necklaces were still in among the wrappings (see the five necklaces 22.3.320–.324). Myt is the ancient Egyptian word for a female cat, and Myt’s name is therefore written with a seated cat hieroglyph (see the left end of the inscription on the front of the coffin). Her coffin also features the so called wedjat eyes that were painted on the side of the coffin and correspond to the position of the mummy’s head. In the Middle Kingdom, the mummy was usually lying on its side and facing East, the location of the sunrise, which was associated with rebirth in ancient Egypt.

Outer coffin of the Child Myt, Wood (ficus sycomorus), paint

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