The art is a representation of the goddess Imentet. Also known as “Goddess of the West”, she is the Egyptian goddess of death.
Archaeologists have discovered paintings never seen before in a 3,000 Egyptian sarcophagus of the famous mummy Ta-Kr-Hb, a high-status woman from Thebes. Experts removed it from the coffin for the first time in more than 100 years, revealing the art that harks back to the Egyptian goddess Imentet – also known as the “Goddess of the West”.
The conservation team at the Perth Museum & Art Gallery, in Scotland, said that the painting, well preserved, is at the inner base of the coffin. It shows Imentet, wearing her typical red dress. Her arms are slightly extended, and she is standing on a platform, indicating that the representation is of a sacred statue. According to mythology, this goddess represented the dead because she lived in a tree that was the entrance to the underworld.
In addition to the painting, the researchers will also analyze the bottom of the coffin, which is a rich forensic environment as it contains samples of soil, plants and insects. The resin, used to cover the bandages, reveals more details about the mummification of Ta-Kr-Hb and the places where the body was kept.
The Ta-Kr-Hb coffin is believed to have been made in the city of Akhmim, Egypt, and the mummy is up to 2,700 years old. “For the ancient Egyptians, the preservation of the body was very important, so we are sure that Ta-Kr-Hb would be very pleased to see the care that is being taken to protect and care for her remains,” conservators Helena and Richard Jaeschkesaid said in a note.