The Sarcophagus of Pasherienaset

The Sarcophagus of Pasherienaset

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Author/ School/ Dating:

Edfu, Egypt, senteenth-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


The protagonist of the Egyptian room is Pasherienaset, an Egyptian priest of Horus and Dorata, who lived in Edfu (Upper Egypt) in the 7th/6th century BC. His wood sarcophagus, of anthropoid type, 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, was accompanied by a series of amulets to guarantee its physical and spiritual preservation, fundamental to the survival of the individual in the Afterlife:

- a steatite "heart scarab" that originally was 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”, a net made up of over 13,000 pearls and small tubes 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.