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Image of a Ba-bird on a Footpiece from a Coffin

The ba was the manifestation of the individual person, his physical and psychic alter ego. It was not separately perceptible, however, until death. Uniting with the mummy in the tomb and also leaving the body and tomb to move about freely in the realm of light, the ba represented a man's ability to move about, especially after death. The most common representation of the ba is that of a bird with a human head.

The depiction of the ba inside the coffin became a regular feature of coffin decoration in the Third Intermediate Period. The hieroglyphs alongside the head of this representation of a ba are writings of the Egyptian word pery, meaning "come forth," the first word in the Egyptian name for the Book of the Dead.

Catalogue Description:
One semi-circular segment from a wooden coffin. Stuccoed and brightly painted. On inner surface a well preserved representation of a human faced Ba Bird with outstretched wings. On back surface, which is less well preserved, a “blood of Isis knot” centrally placed and flanked by representations of seated of seated gods enclosed in architectural elements geometrically rendered. Two holes on each end side for attachment and two holes in bottom end. Condition: Many areas of paint are delicate. Paint color well preserved and covered on several small areas with varnish. Vertical File


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