Sunday, September 28, 2014

Middle Kingdom Burial of Khnumhotep

Figure 1 - Coffin of Khnumhotep in Barcelona
     The funerary goods from the tomb of the Middle Kingdom official Khnumhotep are typical of the period. Figure 1 shows the nobleman's coffin with the offering formula ("A gift given by the King....." etc.) along the top of the coffin's side, while the vertical columns of text tell us that the deceased is one honored by each of the four sons of Horus. Also note the paired "Eyes of Horus" (see Figure 4) which allowed the deceased to magically look out of their coffin into their tomb.

Figure 2 - Necklaces and wooden staves of Khnumhotep
     Other items from the burial are displayed on top of the coffin and include a headrest (on the far right end of the lid), some wooden staves which showed that Khnumhotep had achieved an important rank within Egyptian society, a cosmetic pot, canonic jar and a mirror. Additionally, several necklaces (figure 2) and wooden sandals (figure 3) were found in this burial.

Figure 3 - Wooden Sandals from the Burial
     This burial does remind me of the burial of Senebtisi, which is also from the Middle Kingdom and is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Senebtisi's tomb was found in the Winter of 1907 - 1907 and published by Arthur Mace and Herbert Winlock (Mace, Arthur and Herbert Winlock, The Tomb of Senebtisi at Lisht, New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1916). Senebtisi's burial was more elaborate than Khnumhotep's. For instance, Senebtisi was buried in three coffins (an anthropoid coffin and two rectangular ones.

Figure 4 - the "Eyes of Horus" on the side of the Coffin

Photos Copyright (c) 2014 by John Freed

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