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Archeological Object

Coffin of Mesehiu

Coffin of Mesehiu
The coffin in the shape of crate rests on four supports and is fitted with a lid; the wood is covered with a base of stucco painted ochre. The long sides have inscriptions on a horizontal line that runs parallel to the upper edge and four columns; the hieroglyphics are executed with precision, painted blue and placed within a frame made of blue and white stripes.

The left side, which was facing east in the tomb, is decorated at the height of the head with the udjat - eyes, under which a false door is painted. The eyes are made in a very accurate manner: the contour of the eye is drawn in black and the iris is depicted in brown from which a black pupil stands out; at the outside and inside corners of the eyes there are small red lines that make capillaries. The eyebrows and the components reproducing the plumage of the hawk are coloured instead with the same blue with which the hieroglyphs were traced. The horizontal inscription on the left side shows the traditional offering formula with an invocation to the god Osiris so that he may grant a variety of food, cloth and natron to the deceased; the four columns instead reproduce the expression, referring to the deceased, "revered" (imakh) with different deities: Imset, Duamutef, Shu and Geb.

The right side also contains an inscription prepared with the same scheme. The text is positioned horizontally and contains an invocation to Anubis so that he may give offerings to the deceased and a good burial, while the four columns show the deceased as "revered" with the gods, including the goddess Tefnut and the tutelar genius Qebehsenuf.

The short sides are decorated with texts arranged in a vertical line and columns. The short side which is the head of the coffin describes the deceased as "revered with Anubis, who is on his mountain" in the horizontal row and as "revered" with Neith and Nephthys in the two columns; on the side of the feet the deceased is defined "revered with Osiris, Lord of the West" in the horizontal row and as "revered" with Isis and Selkis in the columns.

The lid is in poor condition and is decorated with a central inscription, now very faded; from the still readable parts it is clear that the text keeps an offering formula with an invocation to the god Anubis, Lord of Sepa.

In the inscription on the coffin the name of Mesehiu is accompanied by titles; he was “scribe of Maat” and “the big of the ten of Upper Egypt”, or in other words he carried out the role of a judge.

Further information
Identificazione (Label is not translated)
  Inventory number: inv. 109
Precedenti_localizzazioni (Label is not translated)
  Provenance: Unknown
  Definizione: Sarcophagus
  Class and ware: Funerary furnishings
  Title or subject: Coffin of Mesehiu
Cronologia (Label is not translated)
  Period: Middle Kingdom
Dati_tecnici (Label is not translated)
  Material: Wood
  Height: 53
  Width: 195
  Length: 46
  Varie: Painted wood
  Bibliography: 1964, Botti G. “I cimeli egizi del Museo di Antichità di Parma” in Accademia Toscana di Scienze e Lettere “La Colombara”, vol. IX, Firenze, pp. 63 - 66 (cat. 109), tavv. XVI - XVII