A Middle Kingdom wooden sarcophagus panel, 12th Dynasty

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A Middle Kingdom Dynasty XII wooden sarcophagus panel, 12th Dynasty

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A very fine Cedar front panel for Type VI Middle Kingdom coffin with polychrome decoration. The outer surface depicting a typical palace façade design and false door with wedjat eyes. The eyes would have been placed within the tomb facing east towards the rising sun, while the mummy would have been placed on its side facing towards the eyes such that the deceased would be able to look through the eyes and travel through the false door to rise each day. The texts are oriented in a way that they are legible from the corpse’s “viewpoint” inside the coffin. The horizontal text thus reads from right to left, and the vertical texts read from top to bottom. The texts constitute invocations to a major god of the underworld [Osiris], two of the Four Sons of Horus [Imseti and Duamtef] and two of the deities of the Ennead of the Heliopolis cosmogony [Shu and Nut].

The top horizontal text reads: An offering to which the king and Osiris, Lord of Djedu, Foremost of the West, the Great God, Lord of Abydos, give an invocation offering for [Mummy’s name]

There are four columns of text and they read, right from left (as the Mummy would have read them):

The first reads: Revered one before Imseti [Mummy’s name]

The second reads: Revered one before Duamatef [Mummy’s name]

The third reads: Revered one before Shu [Mummy’s name]

The fourth reads: Revered one before Nut [Mummy’s name]

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From the reigns of Sesostris III or Ahmnemhat III Circa 1881 to 1794 B.C., Egypt


Height: 59cm / Width: 176 cm


Ancient loss and wear, mounted on a wooden frame for wall hanging. Overall fine condition. 


See “Chests of Life”, Harco Williams 1988

For a similar example see: Sotheby's London, July 3rd 2018, Sale Number: L18260 Lot 73