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Field Museum Collection
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 2:48 am    Post subject: Field Museum Collection Reply with quote

Moderator's Note 9/26/09: When I first started this thread in March 2008, I made fairly liberal use of archival photos from the database of the Field Museum. I was not aware at the time of the museum's stringent policies regarding copyrighted material. Due to this concern, I have removed all archival photos from this thread. Where possible I left the "[url]" codes in place to help identify the deleted images, though these images were clearly identified as archival. All other photos are my own.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------


A request was made that I show photographs of the ancient Egyptian collection at the Field Museum. I have such photos scattered all over Egyptian Dreams but I thought I might as well share them in one comprehensive location, so I'm refining my Photobucket account with yet another album. I'll be sharing many items from our collection but not all of them. Hell, I doubt I'll ever photograph every single artifact in the collection.

I welcome any and all questions. It's a wonderful collection and the highlight of my week--every week--is spending time in there as a docent for the Field Museum. I'll also be sharing some archival photographs: images I've pulled from the museum's database, some of them very old and some not so old. I'll identify the archival photographs; all other photos are mine. It will be easy to tell the difference, anyway. The crappy ones are mine. Surprised

I'm not going to go into any long-winded descriptions of the artifacts whose photos I will be sharing (yes, I can hear the collective sigh of relief from all of you Razz ). I'll leave it up to those of you who visit this thread to decide if you have questions about any given artifact, at which time I can provide more information, so far as I am able.

I'd like to start with mummies, coffins, and sarcophagi--some of my favorite items in the collection. I'm dividing them into chronological themes to help to make this first post more organized.

MUMMIES, COFFINS, & SARCOPHAGI

Predynastic, Old Kingdom, First Intermediate Period

Predynastic pit burial. Naqada II period, probably from Hierakonpolis; body of a 50-year-old woman. Gift of Flinders Petrie.

Old Kingdom sarcophagus. Red granite. Dynasty 4 or Dynasty 5.

First Intermediate Period coffin. For the burial of Itef-ib, region of Asuit, Dynasty 11. Top of coffin. Front of coffin.

First Intermediate Period coffin. For the burial of Nakhti, region of Asuit, Dynasty 11. Another view of the same side. Bottom-left corner of the same side.

Middle Kingdom and New Kingdom

Middle Kingdom coffin. Probably RXXa type, Dynasty 11 or 12. Reused in two burials: trough for Hemenhotep, lid for Nubherredi. Note matching canopic chest. View from opposite side.

Mummy of Minhotep. Body of a woman, age uncertain. Thought to be from late New Kingdom, although rewrapped in Ptolemaic times. Closeup of burial mask; note the bitumen. [url]Archival x-ray;[/url] only the skull, legs, and feet are present.

New Kingdom coffin. For the burial of Apunefer. Dynasty uncertain. Coffin painting and inscriptions hurriedly finished.

New Kingdom sarcophagus. For the burial of Amunemamunet, a royal scribe and secretary to the king. Decoration suggests Dynasty 18. Pink granite. [url]Archival photograph.[/url] Used as a bathtub, probably during the Roman occupation.

[url]Coffin conservation[/url] (archival photo). I am uncertain as to which period this coffin dates. The man at right is the late Frank Yurko, Egyptologist and consultant to the Field Museum.

Third Intermediate Period

Coffin for the burial of Djediumutesankh. Late Dynasty 21. Djediumutesankh was a woman about 30 years of age. Her name is painted on the coffin but it was originally made for a man who was a royal priest. [url]Archival x-ray[/url] of Djediumutesankh. Note the coffin's interior paintings of the original owner in posture of veneration.

Pair of coffins. Both Dynasty 21. At right is the coffin of Fay, a woman, and at left the coffin of Nespasobek, doorkeeper at the Temple of Amun.

Child's coffin with x-ray. Originally made for a young boy named Padiamun but found to contain the body of an older boy; the latter's arms and scapulae were removed and legs broken so that the body would fit (age at death was between 5 and 7). [url]Archival photo[/url] of the coffin opened, further revealing the poor status of burial.

[url]Archival photo[/url] of the display case containing the above-mentioned coffins. Note the lid off to the right for the coffin in which Djediumutesankh was buried.

Cartonnage coffin. For the burial of Chenet-aa, a consort in the temple of Amun-Re. Dynasty 22. Note the amazing preservation. A detail of the same woman's outer coffin, of wood, showing part of her offering formula. The cartonnage coffin is my single favorite artifact in our exhibit.

Late Period

Three coffins. Nearest is Pakharukhonsu. At center is a scribe of Ptah, name unknown. At far end, supine, is the domed coffin of Udjarenes, containing her mummy (Dynasty 25).

Coffin lid. For the burial of Padimut. A man who worked as a doorkeeper at the temple of Mut, at which his father was also a doorkeeper.

Late Period display case. Wider view of some of the above-mentioned coffins. Note the small reddish coffin at far left, which was for the burial of a young boy named Hori.

Mummy of Harwa. A Dynasty 25 man, doorkeeper at the temple of Amun. Age at death approximately 60; amazing state of preservation. Coffin of Harwa with the unusual green face (symbolic of Osiride fertility) seen on some coffins in Dyansty 25 and 26. [url]Archival photo[/url] of Harwa's mummy and an [url]archival photo[/url] showing how he is now displayed, with an array of amulets before him; this is a closeup I shot of some of the amulets.

Mummy of a boy. Name unknown; about 10 to 12 years of age at death. Extremely well preserved; removal of organs probably occurred through anus (no evidence of abdominal incision). Closeup of torso and face; note linen hat with which he was mummified. Right foot deformed and right leg withered, probably due to polio, cerebral palsy, or clubfoot. The hands show juvenile arthritis. [url]Archival photo[/url] showing how the boy was displayed at some point in the past, along with other mummified children.

Coffin of Nesmin. Probably Dynasty 26. Contains the body of a Third Intermediate Period woman named Horemakhet. Note the gold-colored decorations and inscriptions on the body of the coffin.

Coffin of Muthotepet. Note the brightly colored face and lips, as well as the remains of lighter design motifs on the body of the coffin.

Sarcophagus of Peftjaukhonsu. A wealthy Dynasty 26 priest. Heavily inscribed inside and out. [url]Archival photo[/url] of the sarcophagus with its lid, which is no longer on display.

[url]Coffin not on display[/url] (at center). Beautiful example of Dynasty 25 or 26 coffin.

Ptolemaic and Roman Periods

Greek sarcophagus. Roman Period; dates to first century CE. Excavated at Ramleh, near Alexandia, in 1888. Archival photo of [url]the excavation,[/url] the sarcophagus [url]in situ,[/url] and with the lid [url]being raised.[/url]

[url]Mummies of brother and sister[/url] (archival photo). Called "the twins" (brother is to the right and sister to the left); early Ptolemaic Period. Buried together in this coffin on the outside of which is the father's name, Myron, in demotic script. [url]Closeup[/url] of the boy's burial mask (archival photo).

Mummy of Muthotep. Ptolemaic Period. She lies in her coffin trough. Inscription gives her name and her father's, Iret-Horu. Burial mask stolen.

Mummy of woman. Late Ptolemaic or early Roman Period. Well-prepared mummy but simple coffin of reeds.

Mummy of baby. Around a year old at death. Ptolemaic or Roman Period. Sex uncertain. A poor burial. Note toes peeking out of wrappings.

Mummy of infant. Probably a stillbirth. Ptolemaic or Roman period. Sex uncertain. This is the youngest mummy we have on display.

[url]Boy and girl mummies[/url] (archival photo). Roman Period, first or second century CE. Closeup of the girl with her elaborate burial mask.

Mummy of boy. Roman Period; first century CE. Of the portrait-type mummification, although this boy's portrait panel was stolen. Age 8 or 9 at death.

Coffin of Greek woman. Cartonnage case with elaborate decorations; possibly from the Akhmim region. Roman Period, fourth century CE. This is the most recent mummy (in date) on display. Archival photos of the [url]coffin opened[/url] and the interior of the [url]lid.[/url]

[url]Ptolemaic Period mummy[/url] not on display (archival photo) and another [url]Ptolemaic mummy[/url] not on display (archival photo); two beautiful example of Greek-style burials.

[url]Egyptian exhibit photo[/url] (archival photo). Photo taken in January 1888 and shows nine mummies with coffins. At center is the same Greek sarcophagus mentioned above. Affixed to it was a sign reading: "Notice: This sarcophagus was found at a depth of 30 feet but for the convenience of visitors it has been lifted to its current position. For sale: For particulars apply to Mr. G.N. Frangouli, Tobacconist. Next door to Cook's Tourist Office, Place Mohammed Ali Alexandria." The sarcophagus as well as the coffins were up for sale at the same time as they were being exhibited near Alexandria in 1888.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

I'd say that's a hell of a start. I'll return soon enough to show other items from our collection, but for now I'll sit back, take a breather, and see if anyone has any questions. Wink
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OMG OMG

Thank you so much for doing this Smile

I will post any questions i have later.

Conorp

Also,

Do you mind if i put some of these on a cd? For persnal use.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 12:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Field Museum Collection Reply with quote

Holy crap! You're insane, Seshi! It's making me tired just thinking of you uploading all those pictures from your Photobucket and typing up descriptions of them. Surprised You definitely deserve a rest to sleep that hard work off for a few weeks. Laughing

That being said, I think I've seen most of the pictures about before, Wink but it's very kind of you to group them all up like that for everyone to see. notworthy notworthy Thanks for your hard work, as those photos were all interesting to see and read about.

kmt_sesh wrote:
...The crappy ones are mine.

You know that your photos are not "crappy" in any way. If they were, then why would people be begging you to show them off all the time, eh?!

Fantastic pics, Seshi. Now, what are you waiting for? Get back down to the museums and take more! Twisted Evil We want a shot of every artefact from at least eight different angles and four different distances! Razz Razz Razz Razz

Alright, so I'm joking around. Take it easy. sleepy2
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WOW! Applause

Thank you so much, this is great! You know, I've been saving to go to Chicago, but now I don't have to! Just kidding Laughing I'm sure there's nothing like actually being there.

Can't wait to see more! Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

conorp wrote:
Quote:
Thank you so much for doing this Smile

I will post any questions i have later.


You're welcome, conorp. And I hope you (and others) do have questions. I don't want this just to be a thread full of photos. I'm hoping to open up a dialogue about our collection.

I have other categories like funerary equipment, jewelry, statues, and such which I'll be posting in the near future.

Quote:
Do you mind if i put some of these on a cd? For persnal use.


I would avoid using any of the archival photos (which I've clearly labeled as such) because they're copyrighted images and are property of the museum. I'm probably breaking some rules by posting them. However, you're welcome to use my own photos, so long as you give them proper attribution (Field Museum of Natural History).
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daughter_Of_SETI wrote:
Quote:
Holy crap! You're insane, Seshi! It's making me tired just thinking of you uploading all those pictures from your Photobucket and typing up descriptions of them.


Well, come on, everyone here already knows I'm insane. tard

This is giving me an excuse to reorganize my Photobucket account. It's quite a mess and I'm tired of hunting through my half-dozen different albums, so now I'm fixing that. Posting the photos is just my way of sharing them. Yeah, it's a hell of a lot of work, but we must remember the key thing here:

kmt_sesh has no social life, anyway. Laughing

Quote:
notworthy notworthy Thanks for your hard work, as those photos were all interesting to see and read about.


You're welcome. I'm happy to be able to share some of the things in the Field Museum's collection. Smile

Quote:
You know that your photos are not "crappy" in any way. If they were, then why would people be begging you to show them off all the time, eh?!


You're a sweetheart but some of them are bad, and I don't hide that fact. It's not always my fault. Our room containing artifacts from the land of the dead is darkly lit and many of the artifacts are exceedingly difficult to photograph. I'd need to set up my SLR camera with a tripod and use a slow exposure to do it right--but we really hate it when people set up tripods in the museum. It's an accident waiting to happen.

I like to kick them out from under the photographer and say, "Oops, my bad! So sorry." Okay, so I've never done that, but the compulsion is always there. Twisted Evil

Quote:
We want a shot of every artefact from at least eight different angles and four different distances!


LOL You're out of luck. I'm much too lazy to do that.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daniella wrote:
Quote:
Thank you so much, this is great! You know, I've been saving to go to Chicago, but now I don't have to! Just kidding Laughing


Oh, please, I know you're not kidding. I'm waiting for the day when I'm in the middle of a tour and a big rotten tomato splats right in my face, followed by evil laughter. I'll know it's you. Laughing

Hey, I met some Canadians at the Field a couple of weeks ago. LOL It's funny when Canadians come to Chicago for warmer weather. They were a real nice family and were from Ottawa, so I thought of you. Do you know them? Don't all Canadians know one another? Razz
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a question now

Quote:
New Kingdom coffin. For the burial of Apunefer. Dynasty uncertain. Coffin painting and inscriptions hurriedly finished.


http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a98/kmt_sesh/FIELD%20MUSEUM/IMG_0068.jpg

Do you have any other photos or infomation on this?
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Do you have any other photos or infomation on this?


I have several more photos of the same coffin but they're all practically identical to this one. It's a difficult coffin to photograph from the sides because of the dim lighting.

I can tell you that it's an outer coffin. It's probably hard to tell from the photo but the coffin is very large. In our overstorage somewhere in the deep and dark basement we have the inner coffin and mummy of Apunefer (along with around a dozen or more mummies and coffins I've never personally seen).

To me it looks as though the coffin were never finished, which is one of the reasons it's difficult to determine the exact dynasty of the New Kingdom from which it comes. I would hazard a guess of Dynasty 18 or early Dynasty 19 but I'm not positive. Apunefer was evidently a man of modest means but the coffin is fairly well carved, even if features of the face are slightly out of alignment. It's the painting that's substandard, which tells me he died before the coffin's preparations were fully completed.

For my next installment of photographs I'm going to cover the museum's reconstructed mastaba of Unis-ankh. I'll get to that pretty soon. All the photos are ready.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
For my next installment of photographs I'm going to cover the museum's reconstructed mastaba of Unis-ankh. I'll get to that pretty soon. All the photos are ready.


Yay

Also thanks for the info
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MASTABA OF UNIS-ANKH

One of the highlights of the Field Museum's Egyptian collection is the reconstructed mastaba of Unis-ankh. The remains of his tomb are in Saqqara, just beyond the south wall of the Dynasty 3 enclosure of Djoser's Step Pyramid complex. Unis-ankh was the son of Unis, last king of Dynasty 5. King Unis had a lengthy reign but not much is known about him or his origins; he's primarily famous for his small pyramid because it was the first to be inscribed with Pyramid Texts. The mastaba of Unis-ankh is just to the northeast of his father's pyramid, and is in the middle of a block of similar tombs. In August 2007 our posters carla and Ochytoe shared some wonderful photos of the Unis pyramid complex and even some of Unis-ankh's mastaba, and that thread can be found here. The photos are very enjoyable to view.

For some quick background, most of the tomb as seen at the Field Museum is a conceptual reconstruction of what was excavated in Saqqara. The dig took place in 1908--I'll share some archival photos of it at the end of this post. The reconstructed portions of our mastaba are made of a synthetic limestone to mimic the look and feel of Egyptian stone masonry. Carla and Ochytoe's photos from that 2007 thread confirmed for me that what we have at the Field is not an exact replica of Unis-ankh's mastaba, which is why I stress that it's conceptual. It offers the museum visitor a realistic look at what a mastaba would look like around 4,400 years ago. Here is a plan I designed of the museum's mastaba.

I'll break the photos into three sections for this post: Reconstructed, Authentic, and Archival.

Reconstructed

Entrance to the tomb. Located on the south side of the mastaba. The door jams contain the name and titles of Prince Unis-ankh, although the remains of the tomb in Saqqara do no seem to have this at the entrance.

Storage room. Identified as "2nd Chamber" in the above plan ("1st Chamber" is just a tiny antechamber, uninscribed). Room shows the bright colors favored by Egyptian craftsmen. The scenes show servants leading cattle toward a depiction of the seated prince; above the cows is repeated the phrase "Bringing the (longhorn) cattle." A side room leads to a small doorway permitting the passage of offerings into the offering chapel (identified as "Storage" in the above plan).

Courtyard. Largest part of the tomb. The door to the left leads to the authentic, inscribed antechamber and offering chapel. Note the glass panel in the floor at lower-right in photo. This shows a shaft leading down to the mummy of Minhotep, described under the "New Kingdom" section in my original post; Minhotep is used here to demonstrate the common practice of intrusive burial in Egyptian tombs. Courtyard also contains the serdab and ka-statue, although Unis-ankh's tomb did not seem to contain a serdab. The effect is more dramatic when the maintenance staff forgets to turn on the lights. Razz

Authentic

The antechamber and offering chapel were the only parts of the mastaba found to be inscribed, which is why they were purchased and then shipped to the United States. The pictures I'm now sharing are these two rooms, disassembled, brought over to the States, and reassembled.

Antechamber

South wall. At center are two men leading a cow. The longer inscription says, "Bringing everything good from the festivals." The shorter inscription above the animal simply says, "Young (longhorn) cow."

East wall. Features a large image of Unis-ankh with his staff of authority, surrounded by inscriptions announcing his titles.

West wall 1. Features a scribe holding a papyrus record on a board; the glyphs above his head say, "Presenting the document for review." In front of the scribe, out of view, is a large depiction of the prince.

West wall 2. Men on skiffs hunting waterfowl. Note the man in posture of exertion at the stern of the front skiff. Captured fowl are kept in small pens on the boats.

West wall 3. A wider view of the busy west wall. Above and below the men in skiffs are servants with offerings marching toward the offering chapel.

Offering Chapel

East wall. Scenes of butchering cattle. A cow being trussed for butchering. A man reaching into a cow's chest cavity to remove the heart (the glyphs at center say, "This heart"); the heart (or another organ) being passed along. Another scene of removing the heart; the fragmented glyphs seen here say, "take away," "remove," "cut out" (Sdit). The rest of this wall is filled with depictions of offerings of many kinds in delicate low-raised relief.

West wall, wide view. At center is the false door, the focus of the entire mastaba. Offering bench at the foot of the false door was made by Egyptologist Mark Lehner, a leading expert on pyramids and the Old Kingdom.

Detail of west wall. To the left of the false door. One of several servants carrying the legs of cattle, in front of which is an inscription reading, "Bringing the chosen forelegs" (out of view).

False door of Unis-ankh. Made of limestone but painted red to resemble pink granite. Heavily inscribed. Two-feet thick and weighing seven tons. The main offering formula is the longest inscription along either edge. Note how all of the glyphs face inward toward the center, from where the ka would emerge.

Detail of false door. The leftmost register of glyphs is part of an inscription blessing Unis-ankh as he travels on "the beautiful roads of the west." The next register includes some of his titles, including this one, translated alternately as "servant of truth" or "prophet of Maat."

Slab stela. Traditional feature at upper-center of false doors, as with Unis-ankh's. Features the prince seated at an offering table piled with bread slices and with other offerings to the sides. Inscription above head says, "Overseer of Upper Egypt, first under the king, Unis-ankh."

There are a couple of more archival photos in that thread of carla's and Ochytoe's, plus many other beautiful photos of the Unis complex. I really do encourage everyone to check them out. I'll leave you with this beautiful arial photo of the west end of the Unis sector, over which I've placed labels to identify owners of tombs.

Comments about the mastaba tomb? Questions? I welcome them. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yay!

Thanks a bunch.

Questions will come soon
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More beautiful photos, Kmt_sesh! Very Happy

I really like the scenes on the West Wall of the Antechamber: they're really beautiful! I especially love this guy, just a shame that the damaged area passes straight through the poor bloke's head. Crying or Very sad
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a98/kmt_sesh/FIELD%20MUSEUM/UA-FalseDoor.jpg
"archival photo from an old exhibit"

So was the door taken away from the MASTABA the field or was the whole thing there?

If that makes sense?
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daughter_Of_SETI wrote:
Quote:
I really like the scenes on the West Wall of the Antechamber: they're really beautiful! I especially love this guy, just a shame that the damaged area passes straight through the poor bloke's head. Sad


Pity, that. I offered to fill in the gap with toothpaste but the museum wouldn't let me. Razz Next to the men in the skiffs, the scribe-scene is my own favorite on that wall. Aset once aided me in gaining a better understanding of the scene and I was able to read a detailed article about it. This was a fairly common depiction in the mastabas of Old Kingdom elite and there's lots of variation. In a couple of tombs you can even make out little glyphs carved onto the papyrus-board the scribe is presenting. This enabled scholars to confirm that it's a depiction of a scribe presenting the records of gifts and produce of estates to the tomb owner.

conorp wrote:

Quote:
So was the door taken away from the MASTABA the field or was the whole thing there?

If that makes sense?


Um, I think I understand. The antechamber and offering chapel were the only inscribed portions of the tomb, so that's why they were the only parts of it purchased and shipped to the U.S. This included the false door. The rest of the tomb still stands in Saqqara, Egypt.

It's my understanding that for much of their history in the U.S. and at the Field Museum, these two chambers were not shown reassembled as they are now. For a long time only the false door was exhibited, such as in the photo about which you asked. In the late 1980s the Field's Egyptian exhibit was completely remodeled under the guidance of folks like Egyptologist Frank Yurko, and that's when the present mastaba was put together--and the first time in decades the original antechamber and offering chapel were reassembled for exhibition. In this photo you can see a storage area at the Field in which all of the blocks are laid out and numbered, prior to assembly (LOL "some assembly required").

Incidentally, last fall I wrote a post about a second Dynasty 5 offering chapel the Field has. This one belonged to a priest named Netjeruser (sometimes written as Usernetjer in the literature). It's still there at the Field but is not open to the public. Here is that discussion. All of the photos of the offering chapel are archival. I've never seen it in person.

Also, conorp, I was at the Field today and took another photo of Apunefer's coffin for you. Here is the full front of the coffin. I also took shots of the sides but they didn't turn out. Mad

Quote:
Questions will come soon


I hope so! I like questions. Applause

I think for my next installment I'll post photos of burial equipment and other funerary goods with which tombs were stocked.
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