Unpublished Anthropoid Coffin at Beni-Suief Museum No. 1248:Renaissance of the Glory of the 26th Dynasty Eslam Salem, Evan Edward Boules, Soad Fayez and Mohamed Khater

Document Type : Academic peer-reviewed articles


During the 26th Dynasty, kings took a clear approach to restoring the Old Kingdom’s past glory. This article is dedicated to the publication of an unknown Late Period coffin discovered at Ihnasyia during a Spanish excavation, currently stored at the Beni-Suief Museum. The study intends to compare the style of the decorative scenes and design of this coffin with other Late Period coffins, discussing the major similarities and differences. This article was developed using analytical and comparative approaches based on document and picture analyses. Religious scenes on the coffins were analyzed and major features emerged.
These features are compared, and the results are discussed in the article. The authors conclude that this coffin dates back to the 26th Dynasty, its design and drawings imitate the Old Kingdom’s style of stone coffins, and it is distinguished by its archaism and renaissance depiction of past glory


The coffin at the Beni-Suief Museum appears to be like most of the coffins manufactured in the Ihnasyia region during the Late Period (Figs. 1 and 2); they are distinguished by low quality, as well as inaccurate implementation of scenic mastery (Table.1). It was discovered in the sediment at Ihansyia’s cemetery,1which had risen to importance as a religious or political center2by the time of the Third Intermediate Period (1069–747 BCE). There is no doubt that the coffin served as a shelter3for the ancient Egyptians. According to ancient Egyptian beliefs, the deceased would unite with Osiris and Re, who could then raise him from the dead.4As a result, starting the Old Kingdom and continuing to the end of the Late Period, coffins generally served
as an alternative tomb rather than a container. Therefore, they were adorned with paintings and decorative scenes that assured the deceased’s safe journey.5
The Late Period coffins enclose valuable information about the Egyptian social structure, economic system, religious rituals,
fashion, and art. All this information would be insufficient to date the time period of any coffin. Due to the Egyptians’ pride