Canopic Chest of Nesshutefnut card

Canopic Chest of Nesshutefnut

On display


In 1905, John Garstang, Harold Jones and a team of 80 others spent three months excavating the site of Hissaya, a burial place used in the Ptolemaic and Roman Period, mainly by priests of Horus from the temple city of Edfu, which is 20km to the north of the site. Most graves in the cemetery had been robbed, except for the intact burial of Nesshutefnut, a priest of the god Horus. Nesshutefnut’s mummy was adorned with brightly painted and gilded cartonnage and placed within a black painted coffin. Placed beside the coffin was a canopic chest, a stela and a Ptah-Sokar-Osiris statue. This shrine-shaped box was made for the internal organs, which were removed during mummification. On the lid the embalming god Anubis is shown as a jackal. On the sides, the four sons of Horus who guard the internal organs can be seen. On the front, Thoth and Re-Harakhti open the “double doors of the horizon”. Along the height of the box are two inscriptions Nesshutefnut. On the back is painted a djed pillar, the symbol of Osiris, god of the dead, with a human head, and arms grasping the royal symbols of the crook and flail. The wrapped internal organs inside have now turned to a brown lumpy powder with fragments of bandages. There was originally a painted wooden figure of a hawk pegged on the lid but this is now missing.