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The enigmatic owner of the coffins of Nespawershefyt at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

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The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, houses a group of 21st dynasty coffins, consisting of an inner coffin, an outer coffin and a mummy board, which are registered under the number E.1.1822. They were collected in Egypt by two graduates of the University of Cambridge, Barnard Hanbury and George Waddington, and presented to the university in 1822. Since that date, they have received relatively little attention. In 2005, the coffins were taken off display for the first time for many years, as part of the project to re-display the Egyptian collection at the museum. The coffins are inscribed with the names Nespawershefyt, Nesamun and Nesamunemhetep. The coffin owner was a God’s Father of Amun-Re king of the gods, wab-priest, supervisor of workshops and supervisors of scribes of the domain of Amun. He also had the title aA n mw n pr imn, which may be rendered “great one of the water of the domain of Amun”. The decoration is well preserved on the inner coffin and mummy board, although fill material between sections of wood has fallen out in many places. The decoration of the outer coffin is somewhat less well preserved. The inscriptions on these coffins show evidence of having been changed, although these changes are limited to the titles, while the names remain untouched. Although there is increasing evidence that coffins were commonly reused at this date (Niwinski, Cooney), these coffins do not appear to be examples of re-use; rather I suggest that their owner had more than one name and that his own inscriptions were modified after the decoration of the coffins was completed.



Journal Title

Proceedings of the First Vatican Coffins Conference 19-22 June 2013

Conference Name

First Vatican Coffins Conference

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I & II



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