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Archeological Object

Coffin of Shepses-Ptah

Coffin of Shepses-Ptah  

The anthropoid sarcophagus was made for the priest Shepses-Ptah, the son of Ankh-em-tenenet (father) and Nebuiiti (mother). It rests on a high base and is of a rounded form, as is typical of the Saitic period. The lid shows the deceased with a tripartite wig decorated with blue and gold stripes that frame the face, which is covered with gold foil; the eyes were made with the etching technique and then painted with the details. A long braided ritual beard was derived from the same block of wood from which the cover was made. The chest is decorated with a broad usekh collar consisting of 9 rounds that reproduce plant elements and ends with two heads of hawks at the shoulders. Under the collar the goddess Nut is shown while kneeling with open winged arms as a sign of protection. The lower part of the coffin is occupied by an inscription of 11 columns of painted hieroglyphs. The text contains the chapter LXXII of the Book of the Dead.

The back of the lower valve has a pillar that starts from the base of the wig and is incomplete on the top left. During its restoration in 2006 infrared photos were made that have allowed the reading of the inscription of the two columns that contain a part of the formula 246 of the Pyramid Texts, with a recommendation to the gods to be carried out during the ritual for rebirth in the Afterlife. The titles refer in the inscriptions to Shepses-Ptah and are: the father of the god, the uner priest at Letopolis and the title Henety – per imy– wr.

Four canopic jars also belong in the funerary equipment of this priest and were exhibited at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon (Inv G306 - 307 - 308 to 309); Shepses-Ptah is also mentioned in the Louvre stele IM 4188.  

Further information
Identificazione (Label is not translated)
  Inventory number: inv. 111
Precedenti_localizzazioni (Label is not translated)
  Provenance: Purchased by Michele Lopez in 1830
Place of discovery
  Place of discovery:


  Definizione: Sarcophagus
  Class and ware: Funerary furnishings
  Title or subject: Coffin of Shepses-Ptah


Cronologia (Label is not translated)
  Period: XXVI Dynasty - beginning of the XXVII Dynasty
Dati_tecnici (Label is not translated)
  Material: Wood
  Height: 176
  Width: 56
  Thickness: 49,5
  Varie: Painted and stuccoed sycamore wood. restored in 1962 and again in 2006

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. 71 - 74 (cat. 111), tav. XVIII

2007, Marocchetti Fiore E., "Il sarcofago del sacerdote Shepsesptah conservato al Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Parma” in Quaderni della Soprintendenza Archeologica del Piemonte 22, Torino, pp. 61 – 71, tavv. XV – XX