Cartonnage of Nehemsu


Rijksmuseum van Oudheden

Rijksmuseum van Oudheden
Leiden, Netherlands

From around 1100 BC onwards, mummies were often given an inner coffin made of linen stuck together with paste and coated with stucco, known as a cartonnage. This cartonnage belonged to a woman of slight build, named Nehemsu. A typical feature of cartonnages dating from the 22nd Dynasty is the representation of gods in the shape of birds, or with birds’ attributes. Depicted on the chest of this cartonnage is a falcon with a ram’s head stretching its wings over the body of Nehemsu. The sun disc is visible above the ram’s head. This is the nocturnal aspect of the sun god. Beneath it is a winged sun disc, which is the sun in its diurnal aspect. Together they symbolise the cycle of day and night, or life and death, into which the deceased hopes to be absorbed. The register below contains two gods with outstretched wings.


  • Title: Cartonnage of Nehemsu
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: -0800/-0720
  • Location: Thebe, Egypte
  • Physical Dimensions: w40 x h150 x d16.5 cm
  • Datering: 800-720 BC, Derde Tussenperiode ; mid-late 22e Dynastie
  • Afmetingen: 16,5 x 40 x 150 cm
  • Type: cartonnage
  • External Link: Rijksmuseum van Oudheden
  • Medium: cardboard

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