Inner Coffin of the Chantress of Amun-Re Henettawy

This is one of the finest examples of painted wooden coffins made for the priests of Amen and their families at Thebes during Dynasty 21 and early 22.
Charles Reeza — Coffin of Bakenmut, 976-889 BCE, Thebes, Third...
The pharaohs of this time were no longer buried in the Valley of the Kings, but instead built tombs in the Delta, far to the north, where they resided. Security was lax in the Theban necropolis. The coffins and funerary goods of the wealthy citizens of Thebes were placed in unmarked and undecorated family tombs cut into the cliffs on the west bank of the Nile. All the care and detail that in more prosperous times were devoted to the decoration of the tomb chapel were now lavished on the elaborately painted coffins. Every available surface is crowded with religious scenes, images of funerary gods and goddesses, protective spells, and magical symbols. The deceased appears mummiform. An elaborate floral collar entirely covers the upper body, exposing only the separately attached hands (now lost). A pair of red “mummy braces” are crossed over the chest, their point of intersection marked by a winged sun disk. The lower body is covered with tiny figures modeled in gesso against a yellow background, which gives the effect of gold

File:Coffin of Nesykhonsu, about 976-889 BC, Thebes, Third Intermediate  Period, late Dynasty 21 to early Dynasty 22, gessoed and painted sycamore  fig - Cleveland Museum of Art - DSC08773.JPG - Wikimedia Commons

The “mistress of the house and singer of Amun-Re,” Henettawy died, still in her twenties, during a time of political change (the so-called Third Intermediate Period). This was a period when the art of coffin decoration was at its height. Such decoration was especially important at the time because no images enriched the simple underground chambers in which even high-status people were buried—often whole families together.

Mummy Board of Tabakmut | Third Intermediate Period | The Metropolitan  Museum of Art

Henettawy’s funerary equipment included two splendid coffins (25.3.182a, b; 25.3.183a, b) and a mummy board (25.3.184), all of which are shaped like wrapped mummies with elaborate masks fastened over the heads.

Henettawy’s inner coffin lid is painted yellow all over, imitating royal coffins made of solid gold or gilded wood. The pectoral is only slightly less elaborate than the one on her outer lid (25.3.182a, b). Its main feature is a large scarab that pushes a sun disk upward to symbolize the rising sun. On each side are enthroned figures of Osiris holding the crook and flail and wearing tall headdresses with ostrich-feather plumes (note his green flesh, symbolizing vegetation, which goes through a cycle of death followed by new growth, and thus represents the rebirth into life after death). Osiris is flanked by two winged goddesses, his sisters Isis and Nephthys, who raise one hand in adoration and sound their sistrums. In front of them are tiny ba spirits of Henettawy.

On the central vertical band, beneath Nut with her outspread wings, are (from top to bottom) a shrine with two crouching figures of Osiris flanking a scarab, Isis and Nephthys adoring the symbol of Osiris, a scepter flanked by winged wedjat eyes, and a winged scarab above the boat of the sun. Note the recurrent representations of reed mats (shown as horizontal bars with vertical subdivisions), upon which high-status people sat and on which offerings were presented; protective cobras with sun-disk headdresses; floral designs; and the hieroglyphs for “stability” and “perfect.” On each side of the central band are five pairs of shrines whose roofs are adorned with protective cobras. Pillars in the shape of the hieroglyph djet, for stability, support the roofs. In each shrine, the image of a deity faces outward, where, at the edge of the coffin lid, Henettawy is seen shaking a sistrum, her hands raised in adoration. The deities she prays to are, from top to bottom, the solar gods Re and Re-Harakhty, the creator god Khnum (in the shape of a ram), the four sons of Horus (in charge of the deceased’s organs), and Anubis, who sits in a much lower shrine and is adored by Henettawy’s ba.