Innermost lid 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. 173 cm (68 1/8 in)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1925
Accession Number:
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.

The decoration of the top side of the innermost coffin (also known as a mummy board) is similar in color and style to that of the outer and inner coffins in which it was nested, divided into small vignettes within boxes on either side of a central inscription. However, it is the god Osiris, ruler of the dead, who is represented in the majority of these boxes, a theme that is echoed on the inside of the board, on the side which faced the mummy itself. Filling thisspace and painted dramatically in vibrant colors against a background of off-white is a large figure of Osiris wrapped in an elaborate mummiform garment, wearing the white crown of Upper Egypt flanked by the ostrich plumes that represented truth and justice, and holding the crook and flail of kingship.
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.

Jansen-Winkeln, Karl 2007. Inschriften der Spätzeit, Teil I: Die 21. Dynastie. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, pp. 192-3, cat. 11.21.

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.