The Sarcophagus and Mummy of Psusennes I


The main outer body of the sarcophagus - this was an incredible sarcophagus made from pink granite which had been usurped from Merenptah (19th Dynasty).

The lid shows the dead King (now Osiris) being watched over by his sister.

On the underside of the lid was the sky goddess Nut. She was sculptured so that she would lie face to face with the deceased king forever.


 The Black granite sarcophagus:
Length-2.2m; width 65cm; height 80cm

An image of the goddess Nut spreads her arms protectively over the front of the black granite coffin. Hieroglyphs on the cover of the sarcophagus give the names of Psusennes several times as well as describing the protective role of Nut:
"I am Nut, I [have] placed my two arms over you, I hold you to my breast". The King begs her aid:
"Spread yourself over me so that I may be placed among the imperishable stars and may never die".

On the foot of the lid of the sarcophagus, Isis watches over Psusennes as he is now the new incarnation of Osiris.

On the body of the sarcophagus itself the decoration alternates between columns of text and representations of funerary deities (including the four sons of Horus).
Left side: Hapi and Qebehsenuf stand on either side of Anubis. Thoth (holding the sign of night) appears twice, next to him are two symbolic eyes.
Right side: Imsety, Duamutef and Anubis face Thoth.
These gods are there to protect the king and to regenerate him as they did for Osiris - "I am Hapi, I have come to protect you, I have reassembled the head and the limbs", "I am Qebehsenuf, I have reunited your bones, I have brought your heart".
Thoth recites a formula from Chapter 161 of the Book of the Dead - "Long Live Re, death to the turtle, unscathed is he who rests in the sarcophagus".
Nephthys is carved at the head of the sarcophagus, Isis is at the foot.

This sarcophagus was not originally made for Psusennes I - the texts used date to the 19th Dynasty, the deceased figure carved does not have the uraeus on his head nor any royal insignia in his hands (the type of wig carved shows that it was originally carved for a non-royal).

 The Third covering - made from chased silver which is the first part of the sarcophagus that was made solely for Psusennes I.



 Gold inlaid with Lapis Lazuli and black and white eyes.

Height - 48 cm, width 38cm.

Unlike the gold mask of Tutankhamun, the gold mask of Psusennes I does not have any texts inscribed onto it.
 With the silver coffin and gold mask removed the 'mummy' of Psusennes I lies at the bottom of the sarcophagus - a mass of black dust in which various items (including balls of gold and lapis lazuli, beads, clasps, rings, bracelets and of course the bones of Psusennes I lie tumbled together).