Sarcophagus of Bakenkhonsu


On display

Granite sarcophagus consisting of a trough and lid belonging to Bakenkhonsu (his name means 'servant of Khonsu'). Bakenkhonsu was High Priest of Amun under Ramesses II during the 19th Dynasty. The sarcophagus is shaped like a mummy, with the arms crossed on the chest and the hands holding divine emblems. Across the chest is the winged figure of the sky goddess Nut. A band of text down the front is a prayer to Nut. On the sides are carvings in relief: Thoth holding a standard bearing a star, and the four sons of Hours. Before 1941 the sarcophagus was on display in the main hall of the museum and was severely damaged by the fire that destroyed the museum. During the rebuilding of Liverpool Museum in 1964, the shattered fragments of the sarcophagus were discovered in the ruins of the Main Hall. Conservation began in 1988 - there was a first attempt and then a final arrangement following the discovery of further fragments. The sarcophagus was pieced back together with missing parts reconstructed with resin (except beard). The sarcophagus weighs 2172 kg (Charles Gatty who catalogued the collection in the 1870’s noted that it was "said to weigh 4 1/2 tons").