Mummy case and mummy of Bes

Third Intermediate Period, Dynasty 22
945–712 B.C.


Height x width x depth: 33 x 191.8 x 53.3 cm (13 x 75 1/2 x 21 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Cartonnage; human remains

Not On View


The Ancient World


Coffins and sarcophagi

This anthropoid cartonnage (plaster soaked linen) mummy-case contains the mummy of an individual named Bes. The entire surface except for the foot area is blackened by ancient application of resin and oils covering the polychrome decoration. The decoration of the foot area consists of a falcon on neb-basket, flanked by images of Anubis, with a repeating design of amuletic hieroglyphs around the circumference of the foot (repeating motif of neb-basket upon which stands a central ankh with flanking was-scepters, respectively the hieroglyphic signs for “life” and “dominion”). A separate foot board is laced into place, with some ancient lacing remaining. The board is decorated with an Apis bull. Cartonnage adheres to the inner coffin base. The case is Intact and in very good condition. It was nested within two wooden anthropoid coffins.

This is part of a set that also includes objects 72.4823b-e.


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