| Padiashaikhet (Nicholson Museum) |
Egyptian wooden coffin of the man Padiashaikhet containing mummified human remains, dated to the 25th Dynasty (720BC-200BC), in the Nicholson Museum. The coffin is carved from a single piece wood, then gessoed and painted. It takes the shape of the human male figure, with a brown painted face wearing a striped tripartite wig. The lid is divided into zones across the body featuring panels of various gods.The name of the owner of the coffin, Padiashaikhet, is inscribed in painted hieroglyphs along with his titles. The base of the coffin is painted with an excerpt from the Book of the Dead and below the text is the image of the Amentet, ‘Lady of the West’, who is depicted with wings and a distinctive headdress. The mummified remains associated with this coffin is wrapped in a linen shroud which has been held in place loosely by a few strips of linen around the body.
The mummy has been examined by inserting an endoscope into the body cavity and samples have been taken from the area between the ribs and around the pelvic region. The examination of the body reveals that in ancient times an incision had been made in the left-hand side of the abdomen and once the organs had been removed it was then packed with linen. The internal cavity of the body appeared to be blackened – due to the resin used to mummify the body.
X-Rays and bone analysis of the suggest the man was in his late twenties, under the age of thirty, at the time of his death. The x-rays reveal that molars are missing from the upper and lower jaw. The CT scans indicate that the wisdom teeth of the upper jaw are impacted. The CT scans reveal that this man has two large dental abscesses on his lower jaw, which indicate the development of an infection in the jaw, a possible cause of fatality. Nothing else has shown up on the scans which would have caused his death.
The most recent analysis conducted on Padiashakhet involved C-14 dating of the linen shroud used to wrap the body. The results, published in 20211, reveal a large discrepancy between the dating of the coffin and the remains associated with it. While the coffin is dates to the 25th Dynasty, the remains are from the Roman period cal AD 68-129.
The coffin and the mummy were collected by Sir Charles Nicholson during his trip to Egypt in 1856-7 as a single item. They were donated along with many other Egyptian antiquities, by Sir Charles Nicholson to the University of Sydney for the establishment of an antiquities museum at the newly founded university. The museum was subsequently renamed The Nicholson Museum.
Potts, Dan & Sowada, Karin N. 2004. Treasures of the Nicholson Museum . Sydney: The Unviersity of Sydney. p. 60
Sowada, Karin N. 2011. 'Who's that lying in my coffin?' An imposter exposed' Radiocarbon. vol 153 p. 221-228
Taylor, J.H. 'The Coffin of Padiashaikhet'. in Egyptian Art in the Nicholson Museum, Sydney: The University of Sydney. 263-291.
Turner, Michael. 2012. 50 Objects 50 Stories. Extraordinary Curiosities from the Nicholson Museum . Sydney: The University of Sydney. p. 12