domingo, 29 de noviembre de 2015

ataud de Teti

The Second Intermediate Period model coffin of Teti in
the British Museum (EA 35016)
Wolfram Grajetzki
The British Museum possesses in the collection of the Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan a
model coffin purchased in 1868 as part of the Robert J. Hay collection.
Although much of the Hay
Collection comes from Thebes, the provenance of this piece is not known. It is made of two pieces of
wood, one for the box, the other one for the lid.
The outside is plastered and then painted. The measurements
are: length: 29.5 cm, width: 10.8 cm (10.0 cm at the head end), height: 15.4 cm (including
lid). The walls are 2.5 cm thick at the short ends and about 1.0–1.4 cm thick at the long sides. At the
short ends there are holes for keeping the lid on the box (Fig. 12). The box is made of one piece of
wood which was hollowed out to a depth of about 6.0 cm. The box has on the underside two floor
battens (2.5 cm wide) also carved out of the wood. The lid is vaulted with rectangular raised ends (each
about 3.5 cm wide). These raised ends are diagonally cut on the back side only of the lid, perhaps
because of the shape of the wood used (see Fig. 10). The coffin is in general well preserved, though the
plaster has flaked away at some points. The inscriptions on the foot end are no longer visible (Fig. 8,
Fig. 9).
The decoration is painted in black on the white plaster. The decorative pattern follows closely ‘real’
coffins of the Second Intermediate Period. At the top of the four outer sides there is a horizontal line
of hieroglyphs and there are vertical text columns all around. At the front side there are eight of these,
at the back nine and on each short end two columns. All animal hieroglyphs are mutilated on this
model coffin, as is common for the Second Intermediate Period on objects placed in a burial chamber.
The edges on the sides are framed with a black line. This black framing line appears also on the lid (see
Fig. 5). On the front side there is a panel bearing two
eyes and a
-ring between them. On
the head end is painted the figure of a standing woman.
The texts on the coffin are quite garbled, and no spell seems to be complete. However, in several
cases it is possible to identify these broken spells from other sources. The horizontal text lines contain
mainly spells also known from two royal pyramidia of the late Middle Kingdom.
The columns have
speeches of different gods, introduced by
∂d mdw
(‘Words spoken by’). The texts are as follows:
I would like to thank John Taylor for providing me with access to this coffin and encouraging me to publish it
here. All photographic pictures and drawings are my own. A photo and short description will be found in Taylor
and Strudwick,
Mummies: Death and the Afterlife,
Other model coffins of the Middle Kingdom are made from several pieces and constructed almost like a real coffin:
compare Arnold,
The Pyramid of Senwosret I, The South Cemeteries at Lisht I
, 147–49, and also ibid., 34–39,
pls 13–14.
Chests of Life

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