Mummy case and mummy of Penu

Third Intermediate Period, Dyn. 22, reign of Sheshonq III
825–712 B.C.


Length: 180 cm (70 7/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Cartonnage; human remains

Not On View


The Ancient World


Coffins and sarcophagi

This painted cartonnage mummy case still contains the remains of an individual named Penu (PA-ny-ny-iu). It is anthropoid in shape and wears a tripartite-style wig that is striped in blue and white. Additional polychrome decoration covers the case in yellow, blue, green, red, and black on an overall white ground with clear varnish (now yellowed) applied over entire surface. The figure depicted by the case also wears a multicolored beaded collar with rows of flower petals below on the chest. A false beard is a separate component attached to the chin by a tenon. The decorate scheme on the case is divided into registers separated by a stylized feather motif. Two falcons on the upper body represent the solar Horus with hieroglyphic captions identifying each as “the Behdetite, the Great God, Lord of Heaven, Variegated of Plumage.” Two uraeus cobras below flank images of the Four Sons of Horus (protectors of the viscera of the deceased). On the legs are representations of the goddesses Isis and Nephthys extending wings towards a central “Abydos fetish” (associated with the cult of the god Osiris). Four large compartments below contain figures of protective deities.A central column of hieroglyphic text along lower legs (also the pole of the “Abydos fetish” carries an offring formula. The wooden footboard depicts a galloping Apis bull. The face of the coffin is painted red and is damamged in spots.

This case and mummy are part of a set that also includes objects 72.4839a-b.


Likely 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)
(Numbers reassigned and corrected: September 20, 1995)

Credit Line

Hay Collection—Gift of C. Granville Way