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Coffin: E.14.1926

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Object information


Seventy-five fragments from twenty-six acacia wood components of a qersu-coffin (plus one additional fragment probably from an inner, anthropoid coffin) belonging to a man of high standing named Irethereru. Irthereru was a governor of Abydos, an overseer of priests of Osiris at Abydos and a priest of Hathor, ‘mistress of Dendera’. The fragments were found in tomb 840 at Abydos.

The surviving fragments are almost exclusively from text panels and include hymns of praise to various deities, asking them to provide Irethereru with food offerings in the afterlife. The texts were cut into the wood and filled with white calcite paste or Egyptian blue. Parts of the coffin, especially the decorated surfaces of the underlying structure, were painted with yellow earth, but on most of the fragments the wood is visible; red earth has been rubbed into the surface to enhance the colour.

The coffin was large, about 265 x 104cm. The surviving text panels were originally fixed with dowels to an underlying wooden structure but slightly proud of it, with areas of decoration between them. One corner post survives. This was originally connected to the coffin base by an integral large tenon. The sides of the underlying structure were probably made from a series of planks, the tops and bottoms of which were fixed to the corner post by large pegged tenons. Scribed lines and paint marks were used on the post to position the panels and mortises.

Measurements and weight

Height: 28.8 cm
Thickness: 1.1 cm
Width: 27.8 cm

Relative size of this object

27.8 cm28.8 cm1.1 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Find spot

  • Abydos Egypt

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1926) by British School of Archaeology


Late Period
-0745 - -0650

Materials used in production


References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: E.14.1926
Primary reference Number: 52381
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 28 July 2021 Last processed: Wednesday 28 July 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Antiquities

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Coffin" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-05-29 03:40:05

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url= |title=Coffin |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-05-29 03:40:05|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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