Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 12

Egypt Exploration Society

A Group of Osiris-Cloths of the Twenty-First Dynasty in the Cairo Museum Author(s): Aly Abdalla Source: The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Vol. 74 (1988), pp. 157-164 Published by: Egypt Exploration Society Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3821753 . Accessed: 13/11/2013 04:36
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp

.
JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

Egypt Exploration Society is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology.

http://www.jstor.org

This content downloaded from 193.227.1.127 on Wed, 13 Nov 2013 04:36:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

(I57)

A GROUP OF OSIRIS-CLOTHS OF THE TWENTY-FIRST DYNASTY IN THE CAIRO MUSEUM


By ALY ABDALLA
Publication of a group of twelve decorated and inscribed linen cloths from the second cache of Deir El-Bahari (Bab El-Gassus), found by Daressy and Grebaut in 1891. They belong to the lower ranks of priests and

priestesses connected with the cult of Amon at Thebes during the Twenty-first Dynasty. Termed here Osiris-cloths they are of three main types: the most common type shows a standing figure of Osiris, while the
second depicts a standing figure of the deceased before Osiris. The third is simply a vertical line of text. The cloths are usually made of coarse, thick linen, with figures and texts drawn in black or red. The texts usually give

some of the titles of Osiris, an offering or religious formula, and the name and titles of the deceased. The group is discussed in relation to earlier and later practices.

IN January 1891, while the Antiquities Service was excavating the upper terrace of Deir el-Bahari temple, Mohamed Abd-Rasoul drew the attention of Grebaut to a nearby depression where it seemed likely that there would be a tomb. Work was begun here by Grebaut and Daressy, and after the removal of large pieces of stone a mud-brick pavement, over and around the mouth of a shaft, appeared at bed rock.' When the upper part of the shaft was cleared of debris, another mud-brick floor appeared. Breaking through this, they removed sand and the stones from the remaining lower part of the shaft. At a depth of 8 m from the upper floor and to the north side, there was an entrance to a chamber which contained the remains of a coffin from the Nineteenth Dynasty. At the depth of i i m, at the bottom of the shaft
and to the south, there was an outline of an opening entirely closed by a mud-brick wall. Work was suspended at this point for some time, but it was resumed on 4 February 1891. A break was made into the wall, behind which was a corridor, known now as the upper gallery. It measures 93 m in length, i .70 m in width, and i.90 m in height.

This gallery descends slightly with a curve and runs horizontally towards the south. It terminates with an almost square room, connected with a smaller chamber. At a distance of 76.20 m from the entrance of the upper gallery, there was a junction, perpendicular to this gallery, running towards the east to form what is
known as the lower gallery. The length of this gallery is 52.40 m. The upper and

lower galleries are connected by a staircase. The width and height of the lower gallery
are more or less the same as the upper.

According to Daressy, the coffins were everywhere in this catacomb and everything was in great disorder. Just beyond the entrance to the upper gallery, the passage was obstructed by three coffins, piled one above the other. Further down,
1 G. Daressy, ASAE
i (1900), 141-7,

E. Feucht, LA i, 893. PM I2, 630.

This content downloaded from 193.227.1.127 on Wed, 13 Nov 2013 04:36:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

I58

ALY ABDALLA

JEA 74

the coffins were placed along both sides of the gallery in double lines, leaving a free passage in the middle. On 5 February I891 the removal of the objects began and by 13 February the lower gallery was cleared. The material recovered was extensive, comprising stelae, shabtis, canopic jars, a wooden bed, Osiris statuettes, garlands and wreaths of flowers, coffins, and other funerary equipment.2 The coffins and other finds arrived at Cairo Museum early in May 189 . They were on display to the public in the winter of i89i.3 Apart from some of the coffins in the Cairo Museum,4 there has been no comprehensive catalogue of the material, which has been widely distributed.5 Included in the material are 'mummy cloths', twenty-four of which are now in the Cairo Museum. They are behind glass and labelled from A to Z. The Registration Book of the Cairo Museum does not contain any information about their origin or
provenance. They carry the S[erial] R[egister] numbers
14376

to

14399.

Twelve

of

the cloths are published here by kind permission of Dr M. Saleh and Mr M. Gomaa.6 Similar cloths were also found by Winlock in his season of excavation of 1922-3, when he discovered a small cache of burials priests of Amon and princesses of the same period, close to the site of the Bab el-Gassus cache of Daressy.7 According to the accounts of Daressy and Winlock, each mummy was wrapped in a protective sheet of linen, longer and wider than the body. The ends were tied or tucked under the head and feet. The edges of this sheet were then stitched up the back. Over this protective sheet was a double band of linen, crossing in the middle. After removing the bands and the protective sheet, there was another piece of linen, thick and coarse, painted usually with the conventional image of Osiris, wearing the ;tf-crown and a false beard, arms crossed and holding the flail and hqi-sceptre. The cloth was spread over the bandages of the mummy and tied in place by cords woven in for the purpose.8 Described by Daressy as 'suaire', 'linge', or 'toile' and by Winlock as 'Osiris sheets',9 they are termed here Osiris-cloths since they are not shrouds and do not depict any deity except Osiris. Copies of the texts are given
in fig. i.
2
3

G. Maspero, Guide au Visiteur du Caire (I895),

(1915).

For the complete list of the finds, Daressy, op. cit. 144-5. 4 E. Chassinat, La Seconde Trouvaille de Deir El-Bahari (Sarcophages) (Cairo, 1909), nos. 6oo00i-29. 5 PM The material has been exhaustively studied by Dr D. Aston in his unpublished thesis 'Tomb I2, 630-42. Groups from the End of the New Kingdom to the Beginning of the Saite Period', Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham (I987). I am grateful to him for kindly allowing me to consult the thesis. 6 Located at present on D57 stairs (not exhibited). The remaining twelve cloths will be the subject of a future study. 7 H. E. Winlock, BMMA 19 (I 924), II, 7, 20, fig. 2. For a complete account of his work at Deir el-Bahari area, see idem, Excavations at Deir El-Bahari i9I I-i93I (New York, 1942). For a different argument about the exact site of the second cache of Deir el-Bahari, see E. Thomas, The Royal Necropoleis of Thebes (Princeton, 1966), 174-5. 8 For the position of the cloth and further details of objects found beneath the cloth, see Daressy, ASAE 3 (1902), 152-4; ibid. 4(1903), I50-5; Winlock, BMMA 21 (1926), II, 25 ff., figs. 31, 32, 33. For the conditions of some mummies found in the second cache, see G. E. Smith, ASAE 4 (1903), 156-60; ibid. 7 (1906), 155-82, pl. 6, figs. i, 2. 9 Daressy, ASAE 8 (1907), 22-38, see also Winlock, BMMA 2i (I926), II 25, fig. 33.

This content downloaded from 193.227.1.127 on Wed, 13 Nov 2013 04:36:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

988 .

A GROUP

OF OSIRIS-CLOTHS
C0 Sdb,=, A -<3M>

I59

an
Ifra
2tl

p-I

pr& P"

0^.

PH %1L
A

e<__

s- J^
A

t-s

ok

^0.

o I o
'H
A
as *

L r
o o

rrr
_ lj f^^ t^^n
nn'
^

lC=7

it"
N^A

i r-3

tei l W^r
<2>

0^ wT
^p
AA *A1

t-%
,.i

A A

IJc~

3o

Ap .0

ut

5 6

{tt
,o.,
i'A

o"A

mta

~A i -JI

I'

cS)
a
I

!
0

*v a

oPE

11

rA1+
tl
'tl

rL
,,

^_

II
a
->
D

-+

3
u/

Ir
X-4

C,;

etfl wr
- 7-

(3

p I
I I

,13
t

tL:!

%% I
40-.C==l

r_--

8
er

4R3

_t& 7
10

^^.I ,v A

ar I
9
FIG.

h0
.4P.

12

This content downloaded from 193.227.1.127 on Wed, 13 Nov 2013 04:36:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

I60
i.

ALY ABDALLA

YEA 74

SRno. 14378[C], pi. XXI, i. L. 170 cm, w. 76cm. Daressy, ASAE8 (1907), 23, no. 30. Aston: Tomb Groups (TG) 667 (A.30), 330-I. Date: Pinedjem II.10

Rectangular piece of cloth, fringes at bottom, with figure of Osiris drawn in red, vertical line of hieroglyphs in red on body below arms, reading: Wsir wrb r; rq n pr-'Imn 'Ipt-swt ss pr-hd n 'Imn Sd-sw-'Imn mwr-hrw: 'The Osiris, the priest who has free entry to the temple of Amon (in) Karnak, the scribe of the treasury of Amon Shedsuamon, justified.'
2. SR no. I4379[D], pl. XXI, 2. L. 183 cm, w. 76 cm. Daressy, Aston: TG 761 (A. i 4), 359-60. Date: Pinedjem II. op. cit. 3 I, no. I I4.11

Rectangular piece of cloth, fringes and cords at bottom, with figure of Osiris drawn in black, vertical line of hieroglyphs in black on body below arms, reading: Wsir it ntr hry-sst;(w) n 'Imn P;-diw-'Imn mr-hrw hr psdt r;t Wsir nb 'Imntt: 'The Osiris, the god's father, master of the secrets of Amon, Padiamon, before the great ennead, Osiris lord of the West.'
3. SR no. I438I[F], pl. XXI, 3. L. 133 cm, w. 65 cm. Daressy, op. cit. 25, no. 43.

Aston: TG 690 (A.43), 336. Date: Psusennes III. Rectangular piece of cloth, fringes at bottom, cords at top, middle, and bottom, vertical lines of hieroglyphs in black, bordered on either side by a vertical line, reading: dd mdw in Wsir hntt 'Imntt Wn-nfr hq; cnhw(t) ditf htpw dfwt dg (dqr) r(n)pt nb n Wsir it ntr n 'Imn-Rr nsw ntrw imy-r pr-hd n pr-dw;t n 'Imn Onnophris, Ns-p;-q;-swty m;r-hrw: 'Words spoken by Osiris Khenty-Amenty, the ruler of the living ones. May he give offerings, provisions and all fruits and vegetables to the Osiris, the god's father of Amon-Re, King of gods, the Overseer of the treasury of the pr-dw;t of Amon, Nesipakashuty, justified.'
4. SR no. 14383[H], op. cit. 25, no. 46. Aston: TG 693 (A.46), 337. Date: between 1040 and i000 BC.12 drawn in black, vertical line of hieroglyphs, in black, in front of Osiris to pl. XXI, 4. L. 152 cm, w. 76 cm. Daressy,

Rectangular piece of cloth, fringes and cords at bottom, with figure of Osiris on small
platform,

the right, reading: Wsir hsy rc n nb ntrw imy-r pr-hd n pr-'Imn web n 'Imn Snsn m;r-hrw m htp: 'The Osiris, the great praised one (favourite) by the lord of the gods, the Overseer of the treasury of the temple of Amon, the priest of Amon, Sensen justified in peace.'
10 Unless otherwise stated, the date is based on leather straps and tabs associated with the mummy. 11 Name and titles suggest no. 1 I4-but the description of Daressy implies a figure of Osiris adored by the deceased. The text given by him does not correspond exactly with that on this cloth. 12 Aston, op. cit. 337, dating based on Sensen's coffin.

This content downloaded from 193.227.1.127 on Wed, 13 Nov 2013 04:36:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

I988

A GROUP
pl. XXII,

OF OSIRIS-CLOTHS

i6i
op. cit. 32, no. 123.

5. SR no. 14384[I],

i. L. 170 cm, w. 60 cm. Daressy,

Aston: TG 770 (A.I23),

363. Date: mid to early tenth century BC.13

Rectangular piece of cloth, fringes at bottom, cords at top, middle, and bottom, with Osiris figure on a small platform, drawn in red, vertical line of hieroglyphs, in red, in front of him to the right edge, reading: Wsir nbt pr smryt n 'Imn Dy-r-pw mwr-hrw: 'The Osiris, mistress of the house, the chantress of Amon, Direpu, justified.' 6. SR no. i4388[M], pI. XXII, 2. L. i68 cm, w. 76 cm. Daressy, op. cit. 24, no. 45. Aston: TG 692 (A.45), 337. Date: Twenty-first Dynasty.14 Rectangular piece of cloth, fringes at bottom, cords at top, middle, and bottom, with a figure of Osiris in black, vertical line of hieroglyphs in black on body below arms, reading: Wsir nbt pr smryt n 'Imn Dd-mwt m;r-hrw: 'The Osiris, mistress of the house, the chantress of Amon, Djedmut, justified.'15
pl. XXII, 3. L. 175 cm, w. 76 cm. Daressy, 7. SR no. 14390(0), Aston: TG 776 (A.II9), 36I-2. Date: Pinedjem II. op. cit. 32, no.
19.

Rectangular piece of cloth, with a figure of Osiris drawn in black, vertical lines of hieroglyphs in black, two before his head and one on body below arms, reading: Wsir hntt 'Imntt Wn-nfr Ihq; fnhw Wsir wrt hnrt n 'Imn-Rr nsw ntrw sV-2nw T;-nt-ipt mcr-hrw m pt mi Rr wsr snd (?) hr Gb: 'Osiris, Khenty-Amenty, Onnophris, the ruler of the living ones. The Osiris, the chief of the harem of Amon-Re, King of gods, (in) the second phyle, Tenetopet, justified in the sky like Re great of respect (?), before Geb.'
8. SR no. i4392[Q], pl. XXII, 4. L. 175 cm, w. 76 cm. Daressy, Aston: TG 712 (A.65), 343. Date: Psusennes III.16 op. cit. 27, no. 65.

Rectangular piece of cloth, fringes at top, cords at top, middle, and bottom, with figure of Osiris standing on the nbw-sign (gold sign), drawn in black, vertical line of hieroglyphs, in black, before Osiris to the right edge, reading: Wsir P;(-n)-'Imn m;r-hrw: 'The Osiris Piamon justified.'
i. L. 170 cm, w. 76 cm. Daressy, pl. XXIII, 9. SR no. i4394[S], Aston: TG 752 (A.105), 355-6. Date: Pinedjem II. 105.

op. cit. 30, no.

Rectangular piece of cloth, fringes and cords at bottom, with a figure of Osiris drawn in black, vertical line of hieroglyphs, in black, before Osiris, reading: Wsir nb nhh hq;(t) Wsir wrb n Mwt ss pr-hd Wsr-hnt-ms hr psdt r;(t): 'Osiris, lord of
13 14 15 16

Ibid. 363, dating based on the coffins and shabtis of the deceased. No other objects were found in association with the cloth to allow closer dating. For a complete form of her name, Daressy, ASAE 8, 7, i8. Aston, op. cit. 343, dating based on his Book of the Dead papyrus.

This content downloaded from 193.227.1.127 on Wed, 13 Nov 2013 04:36:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

I62

ALY ABDALLA

YEA 74

eternity, the ruler. The Osiris, the priest of Mut, the scribe of the treasury, Userhetmes, justified under the great ennead.'
io.

SR no. i4395[T],

pl. XXIII,

2. L. 155 cm, w. 76 cm. Daressy,

op. cit. 30, no.

98. Aston: TG 745 (A.98), 343-54. Date: early years of Pinedjem II. Rectangular piece of cloth, fringes at bottom, with a figure of Osiris on a platform, drawn in red, two vertical lines of hieroglyphs, in red, before Osiris, reading: dd mdw in Wsir nb nhh hnty 'Imntt dit'f htpt dfw m hnqt k;w ;pdw Wsir hm-ntr n 'Imn imy-r nfrw n pr-'Imn Ns-p;-nfr-hr m;r-hrw: 'Words spoken by Osiris, lord of eternity, Khenty-Amenty. May he give offerings and provisions consisting of beer, oxen and fowls (to) the Osiris, the priest of Amon, the overseer of the recruits of the estate of Amon, Nespaneferhor, justified.'
i i.

SR no. i4396[U],
120. Aston:

pl. XXIII,

3. L. i68 cm, w. 80 cm. Daressy, op. cit. 32, no.


362. Date: Pinedjem II.

TG 767 (A. I2),

Rectangular piece of cloth, with figure of Osiris on a small platform and a standing figure of the deceased, in short kilt, with shaven head, one arm raised in adoration, the other held at the side, both figures drawn in black, eight short vertical lines of hieroglyphs, in black, above their heads, reading: htp di nsw Wsir nb nhh hnty imntt Wn-nfr hq; rnhw di'f htpw dfw Wsir wrb n 'Imn-Rr nsw-ntrw ss shn n pr 'In-hrt hry ss n pr shn pr Wsir nb ;bdw IHnsw-(m)-rnp m;rnhrw w;st: 'A boon which the king gives to Osiris, lord of eternity, Khenty-Amenty, Onnophris, ruler of the living ones. May he give offerings and provisions (to) the Osiris, the priest of Amon-Re, King of gods, the scribe of commands of the estate of Onuris, the chief scribe of the department of orders of the estate of Osiris Khonsemrenep, justified. Thebes.'
12.

SR no. i4398[W], pl. XXIII, 4. L. i60 cm, w. 76 cm. Daressy, op. cit. 35, no. 134. Aston: TG 78I (A.I34), 368. Date: about 980 to 930 BC.

Rectangular piece of cloth, fringes at bottom, with figure of Osiris on a small platform, drawn in black; two vertical lines of hieroglyphs, in black, one either side of his head, reading: dd mdw in Wsir nb nhh Wsir Sd(-sw)-.Hr: 'Words spoken by Osiris, lord of eternity. The Osiris Shed(su)hor17 justified.' These cloths usually have fringes at the bottom but in one case (no. 8) at the top instead. The other borders of the cloths have a selvage. Each Osiris cloth has three sets of cords on either side at the top, middle, and bottom, although they do not show in all cases on the photographs, the cords being hidden behind the cloth in the glass case. The purpose of these cords is to tie the cloth to the mummy. Holes or gaps in the area of the inscriptions and the figure of Osiris can be seen in nos. i i, 12. Some
17 Daressy mentioned that there is no name on the cloth. For a similar abbreviated form of the name, Daressy, ASAE 8, 17.

This content downloaded from 193.227.1.127 on Wed, 13 Nov 2013 04:36:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

I 988

A GROUP

OF OSIRIS-CLOTHS

I63

corrosion reaction has occurred, where the paint has been heavily applied, resulting in the surface of the cloth disintegrating.18 From the Seventeenth Dynasty onwards, especially in the Theban district, linen was used for different purposes in the funerary context or practice. Wrapping sheets, or 'shrouds' as termed by some scholars, covered with some spells and vignettes from the Book of the Dead are to be found from the Seventeenth Dynasty. The best example is the fragments of the wrapping sheet or shroud of the princess Ahmose, daughter of Seqenenre-Tao.19 In the Eighteenth Dynasty such sheets are more Tuth mosis III.20 This practice of commonly found. The most famous one is that of providing sheets or shrouds of this nature seems to have fallen away, but, towards the end of the Twentieth Dynasty, individual bandages were inscribed with spells from the Book of the Dead.21 Apparently, it was believed then that the effectiveness of these spells in protecting the deceased in the afterlife would increase if they were closer to the mummy. Furthermore, the protection would be applied earlier during the period devoted to the bandaging of the mummy, and not at the conclusion of this part of the mummification process. In the Twenty-first Dynasty amuletic pieces of cloth were tied beneath the outer protective wrapping in both the second Deir el-Bahari cache and Winlock's small cache. On them the deceased was identified with Osiris. The amuletic use of a decorated cloth would have some parallel with the painted cloths found with burials at Deir el-Medina, depicting the deceased seated before a table of offering, sometimes with an officiating priest. The manner in which such cloths were arranged is shown in the case of the tomb of Sen-nefer. The anthropoid coffin was draped with a large plain pall ('un grand suaire de toile ecrue') on which the painted cloth was placed, over the breast.22 Examples in Leiden and Brooklyn,23 of similar character and technique to the Osiris cloths but with other deities represented, suggest that this practice may not have been confined to the priests of Amon24 and to the Theban region. In general, it would seem that the amuletic function of these cloths was taken over by 'bead-shrouds'.25 The practice of providing cloth inscribed with spells and vignettes from the Book of the Dead was briefly revived in the Persian to Ptolemaic
R. A. Caminos, JEA 56 (1970), (4th edn., London, 1962), 356.
19 Caminos, op. cit.,
121. 20
18

iI8; A. Lucas and J. R. Harris, Ancient Egyptian Material and Industries

G. Nagal, ASAE pIs. I, 2, 3; PM I2, 66o- (i6). Caminos, op. cit. 121. 317-29, 49 (t949), 21 pis. I, 2. Caminos, in Homenaje al Prof. Martin Almagro Basch, Separata IV (Madrid, 1983), 223-3I, 22 PM I2, 687 (i i59.A). B. Bruyere, Rapport sur lesfouilles des Deir el Medineh (I928) (Cairo, 1929), 42, 47, pis. 2, 3, fig. 28. For other examples see idem, Rapport sur lesfouilles de Deir el Medineh (1926) (Cairo, 1927), 12, fig. 3. See also K. Parlasca, Mumienportrdts und verwandte Denkmaler (Wiesbaden, 1966), 154-5, pls. 54(1, 2), 5 5 by the Griffith Institute, Dr Geraldine (i, 2). In a study of votive offerings to Hathor to be published Pinch cogently argues that the painted cloths from Deir el-Bahari (Hathortitucher) are votive and not funerary. 23 Parlasca, op. cit. 155-6, pl. 56 (i, 3, 5). 24 One example has been recorded for the Deir el-Bahari cache of the mummies of priests of Montu, PM i2, i, no. 7. 649. Also J. Baillet, RT 22 (1900), 25 K. Bosse-Griffiths, For good coloured photographs of JEA 6i (1975), 1 I4-24; ibid. 64 (1978), 99-106. beadwork and bead shroud in situ, see idem, Pictures from the Wellcome Collection, No. i, Bead work (Swansea, 1978).

This content downloaded from 193.227.1.127 on Wed, 13 Nov 2013 04:36:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

i64

ALY

ABDALLA

JEA 74

Period.26 In the Graeco-Roman period the decoration of the outer shroud reached its greatest development, with the deceased depicted full length as Osiris or Hathor, with representations imitating scenes which in an earlier period would have been the subject of relief or painting in tomb chapels.27
26 27

Caminos, JEA 56 (1970),

121-2.

For a general study of the Graeco-Roman

shrouds, see Parlasca, op. cit.

I52-92.

This content downloaded from 193.227.1.127 on Wed, 13 Nov 2013 04:36:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

:.3

I. (p. I60)

2. (p. I60)

3. (p. I60) OF THE TWENTY-FIRST DYNASTY

A GROUP OF OSIRIS-CLOTHS

This content downloaded from 193.227.1.127 on Wed, 13 Nov 2013 04:36:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

I. (p. 161)

2. (p. 16I)

3. (p. I61)

A GROUP OF OSIRIS-CLOTHS

OF THE TWENTY-FIRST

DYNASTY

This content downloaded from 193.227.1.127 on Wed, 13 Nov 2013 04:36:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

I. (p. i6I)

2. (p. 1 62)

3. (p. 162)

A GROUP OF OSIRIS-CLOTHS

OF THE TWENTY-FIRST

DYNASTY

This content downloaded from 193.227.1.127 on Wed, 13 Nov 2013 04:36:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Centres d'intérêt liés