The sarcophagus belongs to Djedmut, singer of the god Amon-Ra of Karnak, and dates from the beginning of Dynasty XXII. In this historic period of serious economic crisis, the sarcophagus became the most important element in the grave goods. No longer the time of costly, richly decorated tombs, instead the iconographic and textual apparatus which once covered the tomb walls is transferred to the sarcophagus. Evident limits of space ensured that the scenes and texts were “synthesised”, occupying the entire available surface in a sort of horror vacui.
The decoration of this sarcophagus is particularly elegant and refined, and is extraordinarily executed in every last detail.
The grave goods of the age included an external sarcophagus (as in the case of the item in question, belonging to Djedmut), an internal sarcophagus (recently discovered in the Museum of Rochelle in France), and a wooden cover placed directly over the mummy (now lost).
The sarcophagus of Djedmut falls within the category of so-called “yellow coffins”, characterised by a decoration on a yellow background, a symbol of eternal regeneration, and a patina of translucent varnish of vegetable origin on the surface.