Coffin Lid

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 ten 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. John Garstang dated the coffin to 100 BC - AD 100.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    Ptolemaic Period
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Esna
  • Date made
    332 BC - 30 BC about
  • Materials
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, Ancient Egypt Gallery
  • 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
  • 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)


Previous owners

Object view = Humanities
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