Hornedjitef was an Ancient Egyptian priest in the Temple of Amun at Karnak during the reign of Ptolemy III (246-222 BC). He is known from his elaborate coffins, mummy mask and mummy, dating from the Early Ptolemaic Period (around 220 BC) and excavated from Asasif, Thebes, Egypt, and housed in the British Museum.
The process of mummification enables the important figures to travel to the next world. A figure of the sky goddess Nut is painted on the interior of a coffin, where the mummy is placed. This symbolically locates Hornedjitef in the womb of the goddess, ready to experience rebirth into the next world. Along with his coffins, mummy-case, mummy-mask and mummy, Hornedjitef's tomb contained items such as a papyrus Book of the Dead and a painted wooden figure of Ptah-Sokar-Osiris.
Excavated from Asasif, Thebes, Egypt.
The face on Hornedjitef's mask is that of a young man with golden skin. This is not a picture of Hornedjitef in life. It's him as a god in the afterlife. When the priest died, he was an old man. Scientists examined this mummy with a CT scanner, and found signs of arthritis and osteoporosis.
In Ancient Egypt, priests were the only people, apart from the king, allowed into temples to carry out sacred rituals (religious ceremonies) every day. One of the priests' tasks was to wash and 'feed' temple statues of Egypt's gods. Because of his high rank, Hornedjitef was almost certainly given a splendid funeral, and his mummy was made with special care.
Hornedjitef arrived at the British Museum in 1835, ten years or so after the mummy was excavated. Hornedjitef’s name is written on his inner coffin, along with the fact that he was a priest in the Temple of Amun at Karnak during the reign of Ptolemy III.
External video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-g1qeX0cTM
Primary History - World History - Mummy of Hornedjitef. (n.d.). Retrieved October 11, 2017, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/primaryhistory/worldhistory/mummy/
Hornedjitef. (2017, July 22). Retrieved October 11, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hornedjitef
A History of the World in 100 objects. (n.d.). Retrieved October 11, 2017, from http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/a_history_of_the_world/objects.aspx#1
Mummy of Hornedjitef. (n.d.). Retrieved October 11, 2017, from https://sites.google.com/site/100objectsbritishmuseum/home/mummy-of-hornedjitef
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