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Mummy and Cartonnage of Hor

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Funerary Gallery 2, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
The ancient Egyptians believed that preserving a human body through mummification allowed the person’s spirit to enter the afterlife.

Various gods represented on a mummy case (or cartonnage) assisted in the transition to the afterlife. The role of each god in protecting the mummified individual and facilitating rebirth is exemplified by the animal head used to illustrate them. For instance, among the animal-headed deities depicted in a vertical line on either side of this mummy case, the falcon head symbolizes swiftness and keen eyesight, while the cow-headed deity is nurturing and protective.
CULTURE Egyptian
MEDIUM Linen, pigment, gesso, human remains
  • Reportedly From: Thebes, Egypt
  • DATES 798 B.C.E.–558 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY second half of Dynasty 25
    PERIOD Third Intermediate Period
    DIMENSIONS 69 1/2 x 18 x 13 in. (176.5 x 45.7 x 33 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    PROVENANCE Archaeological provenance not yet documented, probably from Thebes, Egypt; by 1852, acquired in Egypt by Henry Abbott of Cairo, Egypt and New York, NY (no. 406); 1859, purchased from Henry Abbott by the New York Historical Society, New York, NY; 1937, loaned by the New York Historical Society to the Brooklyn Museum; September 1948, purchased from the New York Historical Society by the Brooklyn Museum.
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    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Cartonnage, with mummy, of a man. Decorated with figures of various deities, etc. Inner coffin: Small panels with gods - minor spirits, some unnamed - and demons, some of them accompanied by symbols for identification - separated by bands of conventional clocked pattern. Top: Four main scenes over body sep. by clocked borders with 3 rows of imitation of stone inlay of wedge shaped units that sometimes adorned expensive coffins, at ends of which are either 4 gods of Dead or 2 winged genii Center - the symbol of Abydos - a primitive fetish who originally was composed of a wig up on a pole with 2 feathers on top as a headdress, flanked on both sides by winged uraei, 2 figures of Osiris and Isis, 4 sons of Horus standing, 2 on either side. Mummy with beard on a bris under a catafalque both elaborately decorated. Isis and Nephthys kneel on stools of similar patterns placed at head and feet. At foot is Anubis also with his symbol - 4 sons of Horus seated in corners with knives. Ded symbol of Osiris with human head and arms (before him headdress of Amon-Re?) with Horus flanked by winged genii and sacred eyes. Shrine with boat of Sokar Osiris 6 small panels on lower legs: 2 with winged crowned vultures, 2 cont. 4 gods of Dead, 2 with panels on feet with jackals. Condition: Some chips and scratches; basically good.
    CAPTION Egyptian. Mummy and Cartonnage of Hor, 798 B.C.E.–558 B.C.E. Linen, pigment, gesso, human remains, 69 1/2 x 18 x 13 in. (176.5 x 45.7 x 33 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.50E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 37.50E.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 37.50E.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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