W1982 The separation of heaven and earth
This scene of Nut stretching over the heavens develops from the New Kingdom, becoming particularly popular at Thebes in the 10th and 11th centuries BC (Niwinski 1989, 39). As on our coffin, this scene is usually put at the height of the deceased shoulder on the coffin, opposite the scene of the separation of heaven and earth. The main characters are the sky goddess Nut in the form of a naked woman stretched over the reclining earth god, Geb.
The scene is taken from a Heliopolitan creation myth concerning a group of nine gods. The myth begins with Atum who created himself and in his turn creates Shu and Tefnut. They couple and produce Geb (shown here languidly reclining) and Nut (arched above Geb). They are separated by Shu, the dry air. With the help of Thoth the couple are allowed five days outside the regular year and. From their union Seth, Isis, Nephthys and Osiris are born.
Notice that in our scene Heka replaces Shu who is more usual in this scene.
Other scenes from this coffin include: