Lid of coffin for double infant burial

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from Thebes, Egypt

Postcard of Lid of coffin for double infant burial.
© National Museums Scotland

Lid of coffin for double infant burial

This lid of an unusual double coffin for two infants comes from Thebes. It shows the two boys as if they are adults, with their heads and feet protruding from the surface. Probably half-brothers, one was around 18 months at death, the other nine months.

The lid is made from several joined pieces of wood, with carved and painted detail of the figures. An inscription inside the coffin gives the names of the boys and their mothers.

Double coffins from ancient Egypt are unusual, and it may be that the boys died together. The boys were mummified to help their souls become immortal. Mummification associated them with Osiris, King of the Dead.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-180-000-798-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0504: National Museums Scotland Part 2
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  A.1956.357 A
Date: Probably 2nd century AD
Roman Period
Dimensions: 195 mm H x 1160 mm L x 550 mm W
What: Coffin lid
Subject: Coffins
Who: A.H. Rhind (Owner)
Where: Ancient Egypt, Thebes
Description: Lid of anthropoid coffin of two children, plastered and painted wood: Ancient Egyptian, from Thebes, Roman Period
  • Sheridan, J A (ed). Heaven and Hell and Other Worlds of the Dead. Edinburgh: National Museum of Scotland, 2000. 
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