Object name: Fragments from a qersu coffin
Accession no.: E.14.1926
Other numbers and markings: tbd
Dimensions: Overall L: 265 cm Overall W: 104 cm
Seventy-five fragments from twenty-six acacia wood components of a qersu-coffin (plus one additional fragment probably from an inner, anthropoid coffin) belonging to a man of high standing named Irethereru. Irthereru was a governor of Abydos, an overseer of priests of Osiris at Abydos and a priest of Hathor, ‘mistress of Dendera’. The fragments were found in tomb 840 at Abydos.
The surviving fragments are almost exclusively from text panels and include hymns of praise to various deities, asking them to provide Irethereru with food offerings in the afterlife. The texts were cut into the wood and filled with white calcite paste or Egyptian blue. Parts of the coffin, especially the decorated surfaces of the underlying structure, were painted with yellow earth, but on most of the fragments the wood is visible; red earth has been rubbed into the surface to enhance the colour.
The coffin was large, about 265 x 104cm. The surviving text panels were originally fixed with dowels to an underlying wooden structure but slightly proud of it, with areas of decoration between them. One corner post survives. This was originally connected to the coffin base by an integral large tenon. The sides of the underlying structure were probably made from a series of planks, the tops and bottoms of which were fixed to the corner post by large pegged tenons. Scribed lines and paint marks were used on the post to position the panels and mortises.
Date: Late Period c. 745-650 BC
Find spot: Abydos
Acquisition: Given (1926) by British School of Archaeology
Construction, decoration and materials:
Basic info: JD will do