Artist: Unknown (Egyptian)
Title: Sarcophagus of Psamtik-Seneb, 600-525 B.C.
86 in. (218.4 cm)
Gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. 71.2254
A sarcophagus is a protective container that held a wooden coffin. Inside the coffin was a “mummy,” or the dried and preserved remains of a body. Around the outside of the sarcophagus, blessings for the afterlife are written in hieroglyphs. These are symbols that represent syllables and words in the ancient Egyptian language. This sarcophagus was made to hold the body of Psamtik-Seneb. We know this because his name is written on the outside of the sarcophagus. He was a healer who helped those stung by insects or bitten by snakes. It was important for ancient Egyptians to practice good deeds while they lived since they would be judged in the afterlife by their god Anubis. Anubis would weigh the person’s heart against the feather of truth. If the heart was heavy with evil, the person could not enter the afterworld.