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Coffin and Cover of Princess Mayet

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Princess Mayet, a wife of King Nebhepetre Mentuhotep, the founder of the Middle Kingdom and a great conqueror, died very young. As was typical in the Middle Kingdom, her coffin is rectangular with a flat cover. The cover has a single line of painted inscription, an offering formula, down the center. A similar formula appears on the sides of the coffin. A pair of magical eyes painted at the end on one long side allows the deceased to see when the priest makes offerings.
MEDIUM Wood (Mediterranean cypress - Cupressus sempervirens, Sycamore fig - ficus sycomorus, tamarisk - Tamarix sp.), pigment
DATES ca. 2008–1957 B.C.E.
DYNASTY Dynasty 11
PERIOD Middle Kingdom
DIMENSIONS 19 × 15 1/2 × 72 in. (48.3 × 39.4 × 182.9 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
PROVENANCE Tomb of Mayet, Temple of Mentuhotep II, Pit 18, Deir el-Bahri, Egypt; 1920-1921 excavated by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; 1952, purchased from the Metropolitan Museum of Art by the Brooklyn Museum.
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CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Wooden coffin (A) and cover (B) of the Princess Mayet. Rectangular shape, flat cover with single line of painted inscription down center. Single line of painted (blue-green) inscription around upper sides of box. Pair of magical eyes painted at end on one long side. Four struts across base. Condition: Intact: Cover slightly warped. Box split through center along all four sides, perhaps along original joinings.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Coffin and Cover of Princess Mayet, ca. 2008–1957 B.C.E. Wood (Mediterranean cypress - Cupressus sempervirens, Sycamore fig - ficus sycomorus, tamarisk - Tamarix sp.), pigment, 19 × 15 1/2 × 72 in. (48.3 × 39.4 × 182.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 52.127a-b. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 52.127a-b_PS9.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 52.127a-b_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2016
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