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Granite sarcophagus lid of Ramesses III: E.1.1823

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Object information

Titles

Granite sarcophagus lid of Ramesses III

Maker(s)

Unknown

Description

Red granite sarcophagus lid of Ramesses III in the shape of a cartouche. In the centre of the lid is the king depicted as the god Osiris in mummy form. On his head he wears the Atef crown composed of ostrich feathers, a sun disk and a pair of ram's horns. Emerging from his forehead is a uraeus, the royal symbol of protection. The king also wears a long plaited beard, another divine symbol associated with the god Osiris, and a long wig with lappets. The king's arms are crossed over his chest and in his hands he holds the crook and flail. On either side are the standing figures of the goddesses Isis (Proper Left - PL) and Nephthys (Proper Right - PR). Much of Isis's figure is missing owing to a large break in the lid which extends from the back part of her head to the base (the break was probably caused by tomb robbers in antiquity). Nephthys stands on the hieroglyphic sign for gold 'nbw'. In between the depiction of Ramesses III and Isis and Nephthys are probably four snakes, two of which have female bodies and heads. These snake-women, who probably represent the goddesses Nekhbet and Wadjet, raise their hands in adoration of the dead king. Hieroglyphic text is inscribed around the lid's outer edge.

Sarcophagus lid of Ramesses III

Notes

History note: July 1816 – Bernardino Drovetti meets Giovanni Belzoni and gives him the granite sarcophagus lid 12 August 1816 – Belzoni attempts to remove it March or April 1817 – Belzoni successfully removes it c. November 1817 – finds are shipped to Cairo 20 April 1818 – Henry Salt concedes a sarcophagus lid from the Valley of the Kings to Belzoni 27 January 1819 – Another shipment of finds from Luxor to Cairo and then Rosetta, including a sarcophagus lid May 1821 – shipped from Alexandria on the 'Dispatch' (Seti I’s alabaster coffin also on this ship) August 1821 – 'Dispatch' arrived in London Autumn 1821 – all objects moved into the courtyard of the British Museum March 1823 – Ramesses III's sarcophagus lid sent to Cambridge 31 March 1823 – lid arrives in Cambridge The link between Giovanni Belzoni and Cambridge is most probably The Reverend George Adam Browne who was associated with Trinity College. He was also a Freemason, like Belzoni.

Measurements and weight

Depth: 0.83 m
Height: 3.05 m
Weight: 7 ton
Width: 1.52 m

Relative size of this object

1.5 m3.1 m83 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Place(s) associated

  • Thebes (Egypt) ⪼ Egypt

Find spot

  • Thebes (Egypt)

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1823) by Belzoni, G.

Dating

New Kingdom
Nineteenth Dynasty
Production date: 1200 BC

Materials used in production

Red granite

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: E.1.1823
Primary reference Number: 49037
Oldadmincategory: SS
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 13 December 2021 Last processed: Monday 13 December 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Antiquities

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Granite sarcophagus lid of Ramesses III" Web page available at: https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/49037 Accessed: 2022-07-04 05:05:50

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url=https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/49037 |title=Granite sarcophagus lid of Ramesses III |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-07-04 05:05:50|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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                        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Granite sarcophagus lid of Ramesses III</figcaption>
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