The Coffins of Nodjmet

    The coffins of Nodjmet had originally been fashioned for an unidentified man and then modified for the queen's burial. Perhaps they had been donated by their original owner. Both coffins had been extensively adzed over and show a pattern of damage that could possibly be interpreted the work of two different sets of pillagers. The outer coffin had almost its entire surface crudely hacked off with an adz. The fact that most of the coffin's decorations had been removed by thieves show that it had originally been lavishly decorated, and had probably been extensively coated in thick gold foil. The inner coffin, however--although also having been subjected to adzing--seems to have been handled with greater care, and most of the inscriptions and symbolic elements were allowed to remain intact. This type of selectivity and care is not characteristic of the work of disrespectful tomb robbers such as those who stripped the outer coffin, and was probably done by priests who did not want to completely violate the coffin of one of their royal ancestors. (Source Bibliography: CCR, 40ff; CP, 175; DRN, 201, 207, 213; MiAE, 127, 230, 329, ills. 133, 143, 429.)  Source Abbreviation Key

(Left) Black and white photo of Nodjmet's damaged outer coffin lid. (Right) Inner coffin
lid showing careful & selective removal of certain elements. From Georges Daressy's
Cercueils des cachettes royales
(Cairo, 1909.) Click photos to enlarge.


Damaged portrait mask from inner coffin. Photo credit: CESRAS.


Another view of damaged portrait mask from inner coffin. Photo credit: CESRAS.


Close up of trough of outer coffin showing extensive adzing. Photo credit: CESRAS.


Lower end of outer coffin trough showing thorough adzing. Photo credit: CESRAS.

    The Center for Egyptological Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (CESRAS) maintains an extensive collection of online images available for public use on Flickr. The above CESRAS color images of the coffins of Nodjmet provide a valuable photographic record of this beautiful object, currently on display at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Additionally, CESRAS has posted large size scans of many of the photographic plates from George Daressy's historically important 1909 work, Cercueils des cachettes royales which are also featured on this page.

More close up images of this coffin's decorations and inscriptions may be seen by going to the CESRAS Nodjmet photostream.

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