Wooden coffin of a child

British Museum

British Museum

This small coffin is very well made, despite its simple form and the absence of inscriptions or painted decoration. The lid and case both appear to have been carved from a single piece of wood, and tool-marks are still visible where the craftsman has smoothed the surface.The deceased child is represented wearing the tripartite wig and curled beard associated with Egyptian deities. The face has been finely sculpted, with particular attention to the modelling of the eyes and ears.The form and proportions of the coffin, with its large plinth and back-pillar, are clear indications of the date of the coffin, as it is clearly similar to anthropoid (human-shape) stone sarcophagi of the Ptolemaic Period (332-30 BC).

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  • Title: Wooden coffin of a child
  • Physical Dimensions: Length: 89.00cm; Width: 30.00cm; Depth: 26.00cm
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: painted
  • Registration number: 1891,0511.205
  • Place: Found/Acquired Egypt
  • Period/culture: Late Period; Ptolemaic
  • Material: wood
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Purchased from Sabatier, Raymond G B