Painted wooden figure of Ptah-Sokar-Osiris


British Museum

British Museum
London, United Kingdom

This figure of Ptah-Sokar-Osiris stands opposite the god Sokar in his hawk form, perched on top of a miniature coffin. The lid of the coffin is decorated with representations of solar boats. This type of coffin, with tall corner posts and a curved roof, was common at the time of Hornedjitef's burial, though his coffins were all anthropoid (human in form).The figure of the god is mummiform, with a dark blue wig and elaborate garland collar with falcon terminals. His face is gilded. These elements emphasize the divine nature of the god as a symbol of resurrection. The lower body of the statuette is black, with an inscription picked out in yellow, just like the outer coffin of Hornedjitef.Both figures stand on a base, which is decorated around the exterior with protective amulets. These consist of the repeated figures of a basket surmounted by ankh flanked by sceptres. Together these represent life and dominion. In earlier times, the hollow base of this type of funerary figure would often contain the copy of the deceased's Book of the Dead, but not here. This example held a small corn mummy. The germination of grain represented the regenerative power of Osiris.

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  • Title: Painted wooden figure of Ptah-Sokar-Osiris
  • Date Created: -332/-31
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 57.50cm; Height: 17.50cm; Width: 11.50cm; Length: 40.20cm
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: leaf-gilded
  • Registration number: .9736
  • Place: Excavated/Findspot Asasif
  • Period/culture: Ptolemaic
  • Material: wood; gold
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Purchased from Salt, Henry. Purchased through Sotheby's