This sarcophagus lid is an anthropomorphic representation of the deceased, although it is not a faithful portrait of the deceased but rather an idealised image of him. The figure is wearing a wig and two Egyptian goddesses, Isis and Nephthys, are depicted on either side of him. His chest is protected by a necklace that reaches to his neck and culminates on each side with the representation of the god Horus in the form of a falcon.
The rest of the lid is divided into horizontal registers that contain narrative scenes taken from the Book of the Dead, the Egyptian document that explained how the mummification ritual was to be carried out and the stages that the deceased had to go through before reaching eternal peace in the Afterlife.
In one of the records we find the scene of the weighing of the heart represented: it was a ritual presided over by the god Osiris in which the heart extracted from the deceased was weighed on a scale. If the heart weighed more than a feather, it was considered to have an impure heart, while if it weighed less, it was considered to be pure. If the deceased had an impure heart, he would be devoured by a monster with the body of a crocodile and spikes on its back, which is depicted in the central part of the register.
The next record depicts the ceremonial mummification of the body of the deceased, in which the organs were removed and ointments were applied to ensure the preservation of the body. The jackal-headed god Anubis is found presiding over this ritual. Finally, the lower register depicts the solar boat with a series of figures, being the vehicle responsible for transporting the pure-hearted deceased to eternal life. The sarcophagus lid is divided into horizontal registers containing narrative scenes taken from the Book of the Dead.
Provenance: Classical Archaeology F. Cervera, Spain, 2015
Previous owner: French private collection.
Exhibited: Feriarte, IFEMA (Madrid, 16-24 November 2019) / Ifergan Collection, Málaga (2018-2020)
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- polychromes Holz
- Sarkophagdeckel, 193 x 57 x 25 cm
- Jahrhundert/ Zeitraum
- Ptolemaic period, 323-30 BC