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Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs: Viscera Coffin

Exhibition at the Franklin Institute Science Museum, Philadelphia


The Viscera Coffin is on display in the 'Causing His Name to Live' room of the exhibition.
Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs Exhibition: Viscera Coffin
Photo Credit © Andreas F., Voegelin, Antikenmuseum, Basel and Sammlung Ludwig

The massive gilded canopic shrine which was found in the treasury room of Tutankhamun's tomb held an alabaster canopic chest (with alabaster stoppers) which contained four gold coffinettes. These canopic containers were used to store Tutankhamun's viscera, removed during the mummification process. The gold coffinettes are inlaid with colored glass (Egyptian blue) and semi-precious stones.

An inscription band running round this particular coffinette identifies it as that protected by Imseti, one of the 'sons of horus' and guardian of the liver.

The cartouche just above the figure's feet is Tutankhamun's throne name Nebkheperure, however, when the container was opened it was discovered that it had originally been made for someone else (probably Smenkhare) and that cartouche inside was reworked to show Tutankhamun's name.

This is one of the exhibition's signature pieces (it is the image used in publicity material, and is often mistaken for the gold portrait mask which so dominated the original exhibition).

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