Egyptian wood sarcophagus lid with scene from the Book of the Dead, 323-30 B.C.

DESCRIPTION
The ancient Egyptians believed that true life began after death. The body of the deceased was subjected to a process known as mummification. In the mummification process the brain was extracted from the body through the nose, by means of hooks heated to fire. For the Egyptians the brain had no value. The most important organ was the heart, home of feelings, soul and thought. It was mummified and placed back in the body of the deceased. The rest of the organs important to the Egyptians were mummified and stored in vessels called canopes that represented the four sons of Horus: The lungs were placed inside a canopy with a baboon head-shaped lid, called Hapy; the liver was collected by Amset, the human; the stomach by Duamutef, the jackal; and the intestines by Kebeshenuef, the hawk. Once cleaned, the body was embalmed with bandages and products that would preserve it for the afterlife and introduced into the sarcophagus. This magnificent sarcophagus belongs to the period when Egypt was ruled by Greek pharaohs, descendants of Ptolemy. The sarcophagus lid has a beautiful and select iconography with scenes from the book of the dead, such as the final judgment against Osiris. The chest of the sarcophagus is protected by a necklace that reaches his shoulders, with two gods Horus, and his neck flanked by the goddesses Isis and Neftis.


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