About this object

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 for a man named Nesshutefnut, a priest of the god Horus, who was the son of Iyhor and Teni. 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.

In 1905, John Garstang and his assistant Harold Jones spent three months excavating the site of Hissaya, with an excavation team of 80 people. Hissaya was a burial place used in the Graeco-Roman Period, mainly by priests of Horus from the temple city of Edfu, which is 20 km to the north of the site. The tombs were badly preserved, and had already been excavated and looted when Garstang and Jones arrived. Among the objects they found there and now in World Museum was a Book of the Dead belonging to a man named Djedhor, and the intact burial of a priest of the god Horus called Nesshutefnut. Beside the head of the coffin of Nesshutefnut was a Ptah-Sokar-Osiris figure, a wooden stela and a canopic chest.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Religion
  • Culture
    Ptolemaic
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Hissayeh
  • Date made
    332 BC about
  • Materials
    Paint; Gesso; Textile; Wood; Human Body-Part
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, Ancient Egypt Gallery
  • Acquisition
    Presented by the General Committee of the Institute of Archaeology, Liverpool
  • Collector
    Liverpool University Institute of Archaeology
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Hissayeh
  • Date collected
    1905
  • Measurements
    508 mm x 245 mm x 290 mm
  • Related people
    Liverpool University Institute of Archaeology ( Collector, previous owner)

Explore related

Publications

  • Egyptian Antiquities in the Liverpool Museum: a List of the Provenanced Objects

    Bienkowski, Piotr; Southworth, Edmund

    Author: Bienkowski, Piotr; Southworth, Edmund
    Publisher: Aris and Phillips Ltd
    Date: 1986
    Description:

  • Egyptian Mummies in the City of Liverpool Museums

    Gray, Peter; Slow, Dorothy

    Author: Gray, Peter; Slow, Dorothy
    Publisher: Liverpool Corporation
    Date: 1968
    Description: Results of 1967 X Rays of the mummies in Liverpool Museum (now World Museum).

  • Egyptian Treasures in Europe volume 4: National Museums & Galleries on Merseyside, Liverpool

    Andrea Davies; Dirk van der Plas (ed)

    Author: Andrea Davies; Dirk van der Plas (ed)
    Publisher: Utrecht University
    Date: 2001
    Description: CD ROM with 1500 objects from World Museum's Egyptian collection, including some destroyed in World War Two. This is now available online: http://www.globalegyptianmuseum.org/default.aspx

  • Gifts of The Nile: Ancient Egyptian Arts and Crafts in Liverpool Museum

    Bienkowski, Piotr; Tooley, Angela

    Author: Bienkowski, Piotr; Tooley, Angela
    Publisher: Her Majesty's Stationery Office
    Date: 1995
    Description: A 130 page illustrated book that focuses on the Egyptian antiquities in World Museum's collections to provide a colourful introduction to the land and its culture in the Pharaonic period. An appendix explains the history of the collection and includes information about the Lady Lever Art Gallery Egyptian collection, which is also part of National Museums Liverpool.

Events

  • Liverpool Excavations at Hissayeh, 1905

    Start date: 1905-02
    End date: 1905-02
    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 in 1905. Hissayeh is a cemetery about 15 km south of Edfu in Upper Egypt. In a fieldwork report to members of the excavation committee, dated 5th March 1905, Prof. John Garstang records that towards the end of February his assistant, Mr Harold Jones, took a tent, 80 men and equipment to Hissayeh. Garstang had already examined the site and had found it to be very much plundered. On page 4 of his report he notes, “It seemed, however, desirable to look over the necropolis carefully to make sure it was exhausted and to ascertain anything possible concerning its history. Few tombs of the Ptolemaic character proved to have escaped plunder and in one of them Mr Jones found attached to a mummy a hieroglyphic papyrus. (I consequently joined him in camp at Hissayeh where we are now). The papyrus is a nice roll in good condition. The text is well written and the illustrations in pen and ink apparently without colour. It seems to be The Book of the Dead but I have not dealt with it yet. Another was found two days ago, unfortunately flat, and difficult to preserve. Some small wooden objects (2 stelae) and one or two good wooden sarcophagi, modelled to human shape and decorated with scenes of ritual and religion have been found. Also some excellent pottery."

Ownership

Previous owners

Object view = Humanities
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