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Final Farewell: The Culture of Death and the Afterlife

Journey to the Field of Reeds: Death and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt

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Sarcophagus of a Priestess of HathorSarcophagus of a Priestess of Hathor

A sarcophagus, which literally means “eater of the body,” is a type of coffin that was usually made of stone, metal or wood. The Egyptian tradition of coffin burial developed from the myth of the god Osiris, who died and resurrected. Imported from Lebanon, the cedar wood used to manufacture this sarcophagus attests the wealth of the deceased, a priestess of the goddess Hathor. The irregular planks of wood were bound together with leather straps.

Sarcophagus of a Priestess of Hathor
Egyptian, First Intermediate Period,
ca. 2100 B.C.E.
Cedar
(61.69)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. T.E. Bachman

Hieroglyphic inscription

The hieroglyphic inscription reads as follows:

Footboard: Invocation offerings for the Sole Royal Ornament.

Headboard: Invocation offerings for the Sole Royal Ornament, the one who is revered by the Great God.

Lid: An offering, which the king gives to Lord Anubis, asking that she be buried in her tomb at the necropolis, and that invocation offerings go forth to the Sole Royal Ornament, the Priestess of Hathor, the one who is revered by the Great God, Lord of Heaven.

Right side: An offering which the king gives to Anubis, who is upon his mountain, the Lord of the Sacred Land, present in all his good places, asking that funerary offerings go forth to the Royal Ornament, daughter of the overlords of Upper Egypt, the one who is revered of Hathor, Mistress of Dendrak.

Left side: An offering which the king gives to Osiris, Lord of Busiris, Khentiamentiu, Lord of Abydos, present in all his good places, asking that funerary offerings go forth to the Sole Royal Ornament, daughter of Hathor, and of those who are beautiful in character and revered.

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