Gallery

Mummies

Egypt: Funerary Arts Gallery (Gallery 109)

The ancient Egyptians wanted to defy death and live forever. In preparation, they mummified the dead, burying them in coffins covered with religious scenes and texts, and surrounding them with grave goods to sustain them in the afterlife. With more than 140 objects ranging in date from about 1700 BC to AD 300, the Mummies gallery introduces visitors to the gods and goddesses who inhabited the underworld, and to the journey taken to reach them. The installation features five embalmed dignitaries, including the husband and wife duo of Nesptah and Tabes, still enclosed in their elaborately decorated cases, and Nesmutaatneru, whose blue bead-adorned mummy was buried in a series of three coffins. Other objects include carved tomb chapel walls, painted coffins, statues, magical equipment, papyri, and canopic jars, designed to hold the mummified organs of the deceased. Dominating the gallery is the massive black stone sarcophagus lid of Kheperra, a general in the 6th century BC.