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About the work

curationist logoCurationist Object Description
Depictions of cats in Ancient Egypt range from housecats to hunting cats to cats in the image of Bastet. Bastet was a feline deity charged with protecting the household. Cats in Egypt were treated as incarnations of Bastet and therefore highly respected. The decorations on this cat coffin reflect the adornments it would have worn in its life. It's painted with a beaded, possibly cowrie shell necklace with an Eye of Horus pendant and a collar. The dots and dashes on its arms and legs may represent fur and resemble the style of coffins found at Istabl Antar. However, this coffin may be from Saqqara, home to Egypt's largest complex. Within its tombs, mummified cats, crocodiles, birds, snakes, scarabs, and lions rested. Alongside them were hundreds of gilded statues of cats and a bronze of Bastet.

Brooklyn Museum Object Description

The object is a wooden coffin of a cat containing mummified cat bones and unknown debris wrapped in linen textile. The coffin depicts a cat sitting on its hind legs with its front paws extended. The two sides of the coffin join in the center forming a join that runs down the center of the cat’s face and body. The proper left side appears to be carved out of two pieces of wood while the proper right side is made of at least three pieces. The halves are no longer attached to each other and the coffin rests on one side. A white ground was applied over the wood ( thickly in places to account for the shape of the ...

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