Ptolemaic Egyptian Coffin

This Egyptian coffin lid fragment recently arrived in the Avenir Collections Center Conservation Laboratory for repair as part of the NEH CARES grant. It dates to about the 4th-3rd centuries BCE (during the Ptolemaic period) and comes from a tomb in Thebes (the ancient city upon whose ruins modern Luxor is built), Egypt. It was painted black with white eyes and white decoration over the pectorals. If you look at the top of the head, you can see circles radiating outward from the lower right corner. These are tree rings and they tell us that the coffin was carved from the trunk of a single large tree. The wood is starting to flake and break away from the coffin along the tree rings, which is damaging the decoration. We will be assessing the damage and creating a treatment plan for this object.

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