Over seven feet in length and bilaterally symmetrical, the anthropoid coffin of Pedi-Osiris, a priest of Osiris (Lord of the Underworld), is an example of the Egyptian’s product of mummification. The front of the coffin features a large round face with black-lined eyes and eyebrows, with a large wig painted in the deep-blue hue of the stone lapis lazuli. The fake beard, as characteristic of most coffins at the time, is a symbol of high rank. Numerous beaded necklaces, painted just below the neckline, adorn the figure. Geometrical patterns were painted across the upper half of the object. Near the bottom, Egyptian scripts were written in columns boldly outlined in black ink.
Several important gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt appear on the coffin. According to ancient Egyptian religion, they were believed to protect the deceased, much like an amulet, and promote rebirth into the next life. In the center of the coffin is a very prominent drawing of Nut, the Goddess of the Sky and the Evening Sun. The front base of the coffin features drawings of many protectors (clockwise, from top left): Imsety, protector of liver; Hapy, protector of lungs; Dua-mut-ef, protector of stomach; Qebeh-Senu-ef, protector of intestines; Dua-mot-ef, protector of stomach. Anubis the Jackal (God of Embalming) was drawn on the very base of the object. More important figures appear on the back of the coffin (starting from left to right, top to bottom): Pharoah of Northern Egypt, Offering to Osiris, Pharoah of Southern Egypt, Isis, Nephthys, Hathor, Mummy of Pedi-Osiris, Nekhbet, Thoth, Geb, Amun, Goddess of Northern Egypt, Isis, and Goddess of Southern Egypt.
The care with which the dead were laid to rest tells us of their social position and wealth of the deceased. The bodies of the elite class were very carefully wrapped and preserved, and were often buried amongst the finest jewels they ever owned. In contrast, the bodies of the poorer members of the community were carelessly...
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