Lid of the inner coffin of Bes

Third Intermediate Period, Dynasty 22–24
945–700 B.C.


Height x width: 208 x 60 cm (81 7/8 x 23 5/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World


Coffins and sarcophagi

This is the lid to a wooden anthropoid inner coffin of an individual named Bes. The painted decoration is well preserved. The figure depicted by the coffin wears a black painted tripartite wig. The black application on most of the body is likely remnant resin & oils that partially covers polychrome painted decoration. A mulit-stranded pectoral and headbands have been painted in yellow, blue, white, and black. with brownish paint for face with features in black and white. A central white column carries polychrome hieroglyphic text that list an offering formula for the deceased. Some fragments are broken off and missing, including some that obscure portions of text.

Part of set that also includes: 72.4823a-b, d-e.

(Formerly 72.4821)


Probably from Thebes. By 1836: Robert Hay Collection, Linplum, Scotland; 1863: to his son, Robert James Alexander Hay; 1868-1872: Way Collection, Boston (purchased by Samuel A. Way through London dealers Rollin and Feuardent, 27 Haymarket); 1872: given to the MFA by Samuel's son, C. Granville Way. (Accession date: June 28, 1872)

Credit Line

Hay Collection—Gift of C. Granville Way