The Coffins of Maatkare

    The mummy of Maatkare was found contained within a nested set of two coffins. She had also been covered by a coffin board. Unlike the undamaged outer coffins of Neskhons and Isiemkheb-D, Maatkare's outermost coffin had been partly plundered by thieves, who pulled off the gilded left hand and removed some type of decoration from just above the forehead, where three distinct holes appear indicating that something--perhaps a golden Uraeus serpent--had once been attached to the portrait mask at this position. The inner coffin and coffin board sustained more extensive damage, and the hands and portrait masks of both have been completely removed.
    This pattern of damage could very well indicate that the burial of Maatkare had been disturbed on two separate occasions. The first set of thieves had probably targeted only the inner coffin and coffin board for pillaging. They may have been members of the burial commission who originally interred Maatkare, who wanted to hide all signs of their pilfering beneath the intact lid of her outer coffin. At some later date, a second set of thieves only had time to remove the forehead element and one of the two gilded hands. Perhaps they had been interrupted at their work and had been forced to stop before managing to remove the other hand and the gilded portrait mask. (Source Bibliography: CCR, 82ff.; DRN, 201, 207, 213.) Source Abbreviation Key


Black and white photo of Maatkare's outer (left) and inner (right) coffin
lids from Georges Daressy's Cercueils des cachettes royales (Cairo, 1909.)
Click to enlarge.

  
The trough of Maatkare's inner coffin (left) and her coffin board (right)
from Georges Daressy's Cercueils des cachettes royales (Cairo, 1909.)
Click to enlarge.

 

   
CESRAS photos of Maatkare's outer coffin (left) and close up of portrait
mask of outer coffin (right) showing three holes where some type of object
(a golden Uraeus serpent?) had originally been placed.

 

 
CESRAS close ups of the the outer coffin's face.

 

    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 outer coffin of Maatkare 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 Maatkare photostream

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