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W649

W649

This is a piece of shroud from a collection of shroud pieces belonging to a lady called Tashay. These pieces were probably cut up from a complete example to make them more saleable to a collector! They were purchased by Sir Henry Wellcome at auction in 1931. 

The piece illustrated here shows the mummy of the dead woman, Tashay, lying on a lion shaped couch, which has canopic jars under it. She is revived by the goddess Nephthys who is shown in human form and as a falcon. The revival of the dead by Isis or Nephthys is often presented as a sexual revival of the male god Osiris, with the dead associated with Osiris. In some other depictions, Osiris is presented with an erect phallus making more explicit the idea of sexual revival. His female companion is shown in bird form. Here, as in other depictions, the imagery seems to continue despite the fact that the deceased is female. Occasionally, in the Graeco-Roman Period the deceased is associated with Hathor, a female goddess rather than the male god Osiris. 

 

The shroud has been dated by Christina Riggs in her unpublished doctoral thesis by the lady’s hairstyle to 140-160 AD. Because of this late date, the pictures on the shroud show Greaco-Roman influence. For example you can see that the woman, Tashay, is shown facing the front. She is shown in Greek dress. The gods, however, are typically Egyptian.

 

Other pieces of Tashay’s shroud:

W650 (similar image to W649)

 

 

 

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