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Complex layered structures on Pakepu's inner coffin

10 Oct 2018

Helen Strudwick

At the Second Vatican Coffin Conference in 2017, the Fitzwilliam Museum’s coffins project team presented a paper about a striking feature of the inner coffin of Pakepu.

The coffin appears to have been completely encased in layers of paste, glue and linen, so that the body was sealed inside the case prior to the application of the decoration and texts.

CT scans of the inner coffin, carried out in Addenbrooke’s Hospital in December 2017, reveal that the underlying structure of this coffin is of excellent quality.

So, the Fitzwilliam coffins project team is confident that these layers do not serve any structural purpose, and that there may be an intention to create a cartonnage-like exterior overlaying the wooden carcase.

This suggests that the inner coffin, although made of wood, was conceived of as a mummy case similar to the cartonnage examples like the mummy case of Nakhtefmut at the Fitzwilliam.

Created: 10 Oct 2018 Category: news conference egyptology vatican addenbrookes

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