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Cartonnage of Panehsy

Rijksmuseum van Oudheden

Rijksmuseum van Oudheden

For the ancient Egyptians, life after death was very important. Therefore, they prepared themselves already in life and well being as well as possible for it. The dead were mummified and around 900 BC. The Egyptians began to make close-fitting sleeves for the mummies. The material of such a sleeve comprised of linen that had been soaked in Arabic gum. The sleeve was then plastered, pulled around the mummy and tied with laces on the back. The sleeve was painted in different colors, and often covered with gold leaf.
The mummy case of priest Panehsy is a very nice specimen, decorated with winged figures of gods and hieroglyphics. These paintings have a general protective significance. On the back of the sleeve you can see a ‘djed-pillar’, the Egyptian symbol for sustainability and eternal existence.

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