About this object

Ceramic coffin lid typical of the Ptolemaic and Roman Periods. The face, wig and breasts of which are moulded. On the right shoulder is a drawing of a standing deity, perhaps a goddess. At the centre is the deceased lying on a bier beneath a human-headed bird in flight. The Egyptian’s called this the Ba and it represented the personality and power of the deceased who has been regenerated. Originally in 10 pieces and mended in 1906 for display in the museum, the coffin was further damaged in 1941. Relatively little was evacuated out of the museum at the outbreak of World War Two. This ceramic coffin lid is an example of some of the objects retrieved in the days that followed the firebombing of the museum on 3 May 1941 when a 225kg incendiary bomb fell on Liverpool’s museum and library and both were burnt out. The coffin lid was cracked in several places, the nose and feet broke off, and the surface was darkened by smoke. In 2008 the coffin lid was restored for display after over 60 years in storage. So far no record has been found for the coffin base or contents that may have been associated with the find.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Religion
  • Culture
    Ptolemaic Period
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Esna
  • Date made
    332 BC - 30 BC about
  • Materials
    Pottery
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of the Egyptian Excavations Committee of the Institute of Archaeology, Liverpool
  • Collector
    Liverpool University Institute of Archaeology
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Esna
  • Date collected
    1905 - 1906
  • Measurements
    130 mm x 520 mm x 1730 mm
  • Note
    Compare with Cotelle-Michel, Les sarcophages en terre cuite (2004), p. 280 [a Ptolemaic painted coffin from Aswan, tomb 888; see Firth, 1912, pl. 31a,c];
  • Related people
    Liverpool University Institute of Archaeology (Collector, previous owner)

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Publications

  • Catalogue of Exhbition of Egyptian Antiquities

    Author:
    Publisher: Institute of Archaeology, University of Liverpool
    Date: 1906
    Description: Catalogue of Exhbition of Egyptian Antiquities Inaugrated July 10th, 1906, by the Right Hon. The Earl of Derby, K.G., G.C.B., LL.D. Held by Courtesy of the Chairman of the Museums Committee and the Director of the Museums in the Upper Transept of the Lord Derby Museum, Public Museums, Liverpool. July 10th - 26th, 1906.

  • Les sarcophages en terre cuite (2004)

    Cotelle-Michel, L

    Author: Cotelle-Michel, L
    Publisher:
    Date:
    Description:

  • The Excavations at Esna 1905 - 1906

    Downes, Dorothy

    Author: Downes, Dorothy
    Publisher: Aris and Phillips Ltd
    Date: 1974
    Description: Publication of Professor John Garstang's excavations at Esna based on archives kept in the Garstang Museum of Archaeology, the University of Liverpool. The book is based on a University of Liverpool Ph.D. manuscript by Dr Dorothy Downes who was a former Keeper of Archaeology at Liverpool Museum. The publication brings together Garstang's unpublished photographs, notebooks and individual tomb record cards made by his assistant, Mr Harold Jones. The book includes many objects from both Liverpool collections (World Museum and the Garstang Museum of Archaeology).

Events

  • Liverpool Excavations at Esna 1905-1906

    Start date: 1905
    End date: 1905
    Description: Excavations directed by John Garstang of the University of Liverpool Institute of Archaeology on behalf of the Egyptian Excavations Committee and the Institute of Archaeology during 1905 - 1906. The cemetery is near 'Hagar Esna' about 4 km to the north west of Esna town, on the west bank of the Nile. Garstang inspected the site in 1904 and was convinced that it was important and unless excavation was undertaken as soon as possible very little would survive the systematic plundering which was flourishing at that time. The first season of work lasted from March to early May 1905 and was conducted by Garstang's assistant, Harold Jones, while Garstang was busy at the site of Hierakonpolis and at Dakke. A second season began in January 1906 and continued for 5 weeks working with 100 Egyptian workmen. again the work was mainly directed by Jones, while Garstang continued his work in Nubia, at Dakke and Koshtamneh. After leaving Esna Garstang and Jones moved on to concentrate on the excavation at Abydos. The Garstang Museum of Archaeology (Liverpool University) hold 110 glass negatives, antiquities and field notes from the excavations. BIBLIOGRAPHY: John Garstang, Excavations at Hierakonpolis, at Esna and in Nubia. Annales du Service des Antiquities de l’Egypte 8 (1907) pp. 132-148. Dorothy Downes, The excavations at Esna, 1905-1906. (Warminster, 1974).

  • An Exhibition of Egyptian Antiquities Recently Discovered in Egypt and Nubia by Mr John Garstang and Mr E. Harold Jones

    Start date: 1906-07-10
    End date: 1906-07-10
    Description: A 17 day exhibition of antiquities excavated between 1905-6 from sites including, Abydos, Esna, Hierakonpolis and Kostamneh. The event was held in what is now the World Cultures Gallery at World Museum. A 4 page exhibition catalogue was published by the University of Liverpool Institute of Archaeology. The exhibition was inaugrated July 10th, 1906, by the Right Hon. The Earl of Derby, K.G., G.C.B., LL.D. and included antiquities belonging to the committee members of the University of Liverpool Institute of Archaeology: Ralph Brocklebank, Esq., The Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. Brunner, Bart., M.P., F. C. Danson, Esq., J.P., Wm. Johnston Esq., Rev. W. MacGregor, M.A., John Rankin Esq., The Lady Amherst of Hackney, Theodore M. Davies Esq., Dr H. O. Forbes and Jesse Haworth Esq. The full title is taken from the exhibition catalogue:'An Exhibition of Egyptian Antiquities Recently Discovered in Egypt and Nubia by Mr John Garstang and Mr E. Harold Jones, Under the Patronage of the Egyptian Excavations Committee of the University Institute of Archaeology'.

Ownership

Previous owners

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