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Coffin: E.W.66a

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Object information

Current Location: In storage




Fragment from the proper left (east side) of the coffin of the master physician, Wepwawetemhat (meaning ‘Wepwawet is at the front’) showing a man dragging a cow with two standing women behind him. The coffin panel is made from a single piece of radially cut wood (sycomore fig), where the grain runs along the length. There are five dowel holes, one with a deformed dowel surviving. Dowels would have been used to connect separate planks together to form the coffin. As is common with coffins of this type, there are four columns of text next to the scenes, including two hetep-di-nswt formulas.

The external face of the panel is coated with a white preparation layer (this was observed under PLM and thought to be calcite from ground limestone), which is used as a background to the hieroglyphs and figures. A red under-drawing is visible in places. A faint red outline of the cow’s front proper left leg is visible adjacent to its finished position indicating an alteration to the drawing. This and other pigments were also examined with PLM to attempt identification, though the results are yet to be confirmed by other analytical techniques (XRF or FORS). The reds show characteristics that are compatible with cinnabar, while the green pigment particles resemble Egyptian Green. Where it is thickly applied, the black paint shows brush marks. The pigment particles are very fine, and likely to be soot. The blues have been identified as Egyptian Blue using VIL. The yellow pigment is likely to be a mixture of calcite and orpiment. The blue feathers and black outlining on the bird on the far proper left overlie the yellow face colour.

The back and long sides of the plank are patchily coated with a white and yellow-brown ground. There are also areas of possible animal glue. These sides were probably adhered to other planks with this material alongside the dowels.

This object belongs with E.W.66b.

Measurements and weight

Height: 8.9 cm
Thickness: 3.4 cm
Width: 75.3 cm

Find spot

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Unknown by Unknown


Middle Kingdom
Circa -1975 - Circa -1790

Materials used in production


References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: E.W.66a
Primary reference Number: 65427
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 18 January 2022 Last processed: Wednesday 28 February 2024

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Coffin" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-23 00:09:19

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{{cite web|url= |title=Coffin |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-06-23 00:09:19|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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