Ptah-Sokar-Osiris Figure of Nesshutefnut


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 65 cm tall statue Ptah-Sokar-Osiris wears a headdress of curled ram horns, a sun-disc and plumes. Ptah-Sokar-Osiris was a popular god of the netherworld in the Ptolemaic and Roman periods, represnting the resurrection of the dead. A vertical column of hieroglyphic text is painted on the back of the figure. In front of the god stands a small model of the deceased’s coffin that sits on top of a mummiform-shaped hole (perhaps for a figure of the dead/shabti). On the sides of the model coffin are tiny painted figures protective deities including the goddesses Isis and Nephthys. Originally there was a figure of a jackal pegged to the lid of the model coffin but this is now missing. Between the coffin and the foot of the standing figure the name, parentage and titles of the deceased, Nesshutefnut.