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Human remains, coffin
Date Made/Found: 720-664 BC
Previous owner: Previously owned by Thomas Bateman , British, 1821 - 1861
Collector: Collected by Thomas Bateman , British, 1821 - 1861
Vendor: Thomas William Bateman , 1852 - 1895
Material and Medium: Bone, tooth, skin, tissue, linen, wood
Dimensions: Coffin length 1870mm; width across shoulders 550mm; width at base: back 290mm, front 350mm; maximum height (at feet) 360mm; depth of lower coffin (average) 265mm
Place Object Found: Luxor
Department: Archaeology
Accession Number: J93.1283
This coffin contains the mummy of an adult woman called Nesitanebetasheru. She was likely to have been fairly wealthy as she was originally buried with three coffins, each inside the next. Her title ‘lady of the house’ and her father’s name, Nesiamun, are written on her coffin in hieroglyphs. There is no evidence to suggest she had children.

The mummy was x-rayed and CT scanned in 1992. The scans showed she has metal plates covering her eyes and may have an earring in her left ear. During mummification, Nesitanebetasheru’s brain was removed through her nose and her skull filled with resin. Her organs were removed and then returned to her body after preservation. Her mummy shows no visible evidence of disease or other cause of death.

The inner coffin is covered in a substance that was poured over it during the funeral ritual. Archaeologists are not sure why this was done to some coffins. One suggestion is that it gave protection in the afterlife as black was the colour of fertility in ancient Egypt. However, the liquid may have been clear when first applied and could have turned black over time with oxidation.

The substance has stuck the inner coffin down so we can’t take it out to see all the decoration on the inside of the outer coffin. Parts of the decoration are visible, such as the painted hands either side of her shoulders. The scenes on the outer coffin lid show what the ancient Egyptians believed happened to the soul of the dead person in the afterlife.
Display Location: Weston Park Museum

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