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Shrew Coffin of Pahapy

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Bronze coffins added value to votive mummies and possibly were thought to help influence the god to help the petitioner. A man named Pahapy used this coffin for a shrew mummy. The Egyptians regarded shrews as guardians of the sun god Re and included requests to him in many types of animal cemeteries.
  • Possible Place Made: Lower Egypt, Egypt
  • DATES 664–30 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 26, or later
    PERIOD Late Period to Ptolemaic Period
    DIMENSIONS 2 1/8 x 1 1/2 x 3 1/2 in., 0.6 lb. (5.4 x 3.8 x 8.9 cm, 0.25kg)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Small bronze shrew standing on a bronze, rectangular coffin. Just below the top of the coffin, there is a pair of parallel concave bands running along the front and side walls. The coffin body features hieroglyphic inscriptions on the right and front walls. Inscription is partly unintelligible. In the center of both long walls, there are small, rectangular punctures. The shrew stands on all four legs, with its left legs slightly stepped forward. The face, tail, and feet of the animal feature minimal carved details. Carved into its back, there is a vulture with outstretched wings by the animal’s shoulders and a beetle with outstretched wings on the shrew’s lower back. While well preserved, light scratches are visible along the entire object, with a higher concentration at the edges. Additionally there are a few small dents concentrated on the left, back, and top of the coffin portion.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Shrew Coffin of Pahapy, 664–30 B.C.E. Bronze, 2 1/8 x 1 1/2 x 3 1/2 in., 0.6 lb. (5.4 x 3.8 x 8.9 cm, 0.25kg). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.411Ea. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum (Gavin Ashworth,er), 37.411E_Gavin_Ashworth_photograph.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 37.411E_Gavin_Ashworth_photograph.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph (Gavin Ashworth, photographer), 2012
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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