Funerary Equipment

In Dynasty 19, following the return to the cartouche-shaped sarcophagus under Rameses I [10485], royal burials adopted different sarcophagus forms. Both Sety I and Rameses II used Egyptian alabaster mummiform sarcophagi, inscribed with texts and scenes from the Imydwat and the Book of Gates. Merenptah's group of four sarcophagi incorporated the shrine shapes of the past and even a cartouche-shape, combined with a mummiform effigy on two of the lids [15277]. They use extracts from the Imydwat and the Book of Gates for the decorative program. The combination of cartouche-shaped box with effigy sculpted on the lid continued through the reign of Rameses IV. Beginning with the sarcophagus of Siptah, the form and decorative program became more standardized. The cartouche-shape is consistently used. The effigy on the lid is shown flanked by figures of Isis and Nephthys, with a serpent and a crocodile to the left and right of the legs of the king [15608]. Beginning with Siptah, the decoration of the exterior of the sarcophagus adopts a new theme, a composition that has not survived on previous tomb walls, although certain figures from it do appear later in KV 1, KV 6 and KV 9 with excerpts from the Book of the Earth [14755, 15607]. After Rameses VI, stone sarcophagi were not used to hold the coffins. Instead, the coffins were placed in a pit in the burial chamber [10927]. This feature already had appeared in KV 9, although it was used there only as an emplacement for the outer sarcophagus [16284].     10485 15277 15608 14755 15607 10927 16284
Very little remains of the coffins provided for New Kingdom royal burials, as these were largely damaged or destroyed by tomb robbers. Most of the coffins used for the reburial of royal mummies in the Third Intermediate Period were reused non-royal coffins. Aside from the set provided for the burial of Tutankhamen [14891], only the coffins containing Thutmes I, Thutmes III, the occupant of KV 55, Sety I, Setnakht and Rameses III are part of their original burial equipment. The coffin containing the mummy of Rameses II was not made for him originally, but appears to be a royal coffin of late Dynasty 18, perhaps for Ay or Horemheb, or even Rameses I, based on artistic considerations. Royal coffins are all mummiform, and the decoration often includes a rishi or feather pattern (both body feathers and wings). Specifically royal costume includes the striped nemes headdress, uraeus on the brow, and the so-called crook and flail scepters held in the hands. Some burials had more than one coffin, set one inside the other.     14891
Two well-preserved sets of coffins of Yuya and Thuyu, both non-royal individuals, were found in KV 42 [18329, 18337].     18329 18337

Published or last modified on: December 19, 2002
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