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W869 New Kingdom Painted Shroud

W869Painted shrouds are rare in the New Kingdom This is one. It has several spells from the Book of the Dead on it. One spell concerns the Lake of Fire which would ensure the evil dead died a second death and in which the good dead were purified.

This is part of a rare New Kingdom painted shroud with parts of the Book of the Dead thereon. It is from Rifeh and dates to the 19th-20th Dynasties.  

The item measures 66.8×45.4cm and belonged to a man called Hapi. It is painted with scenes from the Book of the Dead. These include: Four men carrying a boat on a pole (inside the boat is a mummiform coffin); The Lake of Fire, (chapter 126 of the Book of the Dead); Transformation into a Snake, (chapter 87 of the Book of the Dead); Transformation into a Lotus (chapter 81 of the Book of the Dead); Transformation into a Shenti Bird; (chapter 84 of the Book of the Dead). The Lake of Fire was the means by which the deceased was purified in the Afterlife. In later times copies of the Book of the Dead tended to be more commonly written on papyrus scrolls.

Van Voss (1974) believed that the iconography and the owner’s name suggested a Rameside Period date (1320-1075 BC). 

This item was originally found by Petrie at Rifeh (Petrie 1937, 7).  It was given to Wellcome by Petrie in 1927, in exchange for Wellcome’s support of the Egypt Exploration Society.  

Other Book of the Dead items in the Egypt Centre

Coffin fragment showing the Lake of Fire



Van Voss, M. Heerma, 1974, ‘Een Dodendoek Als Dodenboek’ Phoenix 20, 335-338. 

Petrie, W.M.F., 1937, Funeral Furniture and Stone Vases. London: Bernard Quaritch.