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Snake Coffin with Mummy

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Shrews and ichneumons both prey on snakes and therefore won the Egyptians’ admiration and worship. Though snakes could turn their powers to protecting kings and queens, serpents also threatened the sun god Re on his journey through the next world. Egyptian religion made room for both the positive and negative aspects of certain animals.

The shrew mummy bundle shows that more than one animal was sometimes included in one package.
MEDIUM Wood, animal remains, linen
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES 664-332 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 26 to Dynasty 31
    PERIOD Late Period
    DIMENSIONS 2 5/8 x 2 1/16 x 8 1/16 in. (6.7 x 5.2 x 20.5 cm)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 37.1358Ea-c
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Wooden coffin of a snake; with mummy. (a=coffin lid; b-coffin body; c=mummy)
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