Late Dynastic Coffin Base



Late Dynastic Coffin Base


525-343 BC


Late Period, Dynasty 27 - Dynasty 30


Wood, plaster, pigment
71 5/8 x 17 11/16 x 13 7/8 in. (182 x 45 x 35.2 cm)

Object Number

1921.003 A


The angular, unpolished appearance of this coffin attests to the decline in quality of burial equipment during the later stages of Egyptian rule. The crude, unsophisticated decoration of this piece suggests that it was produced by a provincial artisan, rather than a high-status atelier.

The Goddess of the West appears on the bottom of the base, identified by the falcon standard upon her head, which represents the hieroglyph meaning "west." The Egyptian associated the West, where the sun sets each evening, with the entrance to the underworld. The goddess guarded the necropolis and the dead during the dangerous transition to the afterlife.

Credit Line

Collected by William A. Shelton, funded by John A. Manget


A Preview of the Collections, Schatten Gallery, February 15 - April 4, 1982|
Monuments and Mummies: The Shelton Expedition, Emory University Museum of Art and Archaeology, February 8 - June 25, 1989|
Shadow of the Sphinx: Ancient Egypt and Its Influence, Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute, Utica, New York, June 17 - November 25, 2012|
GE Presents: The Mystery of the Albany Mummies, Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, New York, September 21, 2013 - June 8, 2014|
Hall of Ancient Egypt, The Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston, Texas, August 2014 - Present
Emory University Museum of Art and Archaeology, A Preview of the Collections (Atlanta: the Museum, 1982), 8.|
Bonna Wescoat and Monique Seefried, "Emory University Museum of Art and Archaeology Reopens," Archaeology 38, no. 3 (1985): 60-63.|
Debra Hale, "Ancient Egyptian Painting on Bottom of Coffin Discovered," Statesboro Herald, March 15, 1990.|
MCCM Newsletter, Spring 1990.|
Michael C. Carlos Museum Handbook (Atlanta: Michael C. Carlos Museum 1996), 28.|
Peter Lacovara, "The New Galleries of Egyptian and Near Eastern Art at the Michael C. Carlos Museum," Minerva: The International Review of Ancient Art and Archaeology (September/October 2001): 9-16.|
Peter Lacovara and Betsy Teasley Trope, The Realm of Osiris (Atlanta: Michael C. Carlos Museum 2001): 56.


© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Peter Harholdt.
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“Late Dynastic Coffin Base,” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed February 19, 2019,

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