Sarcophagus of Wennefer

Late Period

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 132

This is a magnificent example of an unusual type of large trapezoidal sarcophagi characteristic of the Nectanebid Period (Dynasty 30). The decoration, carved expertly into the hard stone, features an image of Wennefer’s ba, an aspect of his intangible being in the form of a human-headed bird, on the lid. The texts here are spells from the Book of the Dead, meant to guarantee the successful transformation of Wennefer into an effective spirit. On the underside of the lid, the sky goddess Nut stretches out her limbs to shelter the mummy that once lay beneath. The box is decorated with texts and images illustrating the hazardous nightly journey of the sun god through the Netherworld.

Sarcophagus of Wennefer, Granite or granodiorite

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