The Sarcophagus of Pasherienaset

The Sarcophagus of Pasherienaset

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Author/ School/ Dating:

Edfu, Egypt, sixth century BC

Technique and Dimensions:

Sycamore wood, faience, steatite, 175.5 x 52 cm


Grownd Floor


Egypt, Edfu, donation E. N. Figari, 1931

Object Type:

Repair; Sarcophagus; Mummy and grave goods


Wood sarcophagus with mummy of Egyptian priest Pasherienaset, living in Edfu (Upper Egypt) in the 4th century BC, is made in sycamore fig wood and is painted inside and outside with funerary formulae and images taken from chapters of the Book of the Dead (a text of prayers and ritual formulae linked to the Afterlife). The face of the sarcophagus was painted green, a reference to the regenerative powers attributed to the god Osiris, with whom the deceased is always associated in Egyptian culture. The body, embalmed and wrapped in numerous bandages, is accompanied by a series of amulets to guarantee its physical and spiritual preservation, fundamental to the survival of the individual in the Afterlife:

- a stone heart scarab placed on the chest

- a winged scarab in blue faience, a symbol of the sun’s rebirth, accompanied by 4 blue faience mummy figures of the “Sons of Horus”, divinities protecting the organs of the deceased

- a protective “magic breastplate”, made up of over 13,000 pearls and small pieces of blue faience

The accessories are completed by a soapstone figurine resembling the deceased and bearing his name, his titles and the lineage of the priests he originated from, together with an offering formula to the god Horus.