This well-preserved mummy board is from the late 21st Dynasty (1069-945 BC) in Egypt. The construction of this piece indicates the highly intricate and complex funerary practices engaged in during this period.
The board has a length of approximately 1.73 meters, and a width of around 0.52 meters at its broadest point, emulating the human form it was designed to encompass. The primary materials include plaster, gessoed wood, original pigments and gold leaf.
The subject of the board is assumed to be the Lady Shepenkhonsu, depicted in a prone position. She is shown in a form-fitting dress, created with bright gold tones that reference the skin of the gods and immortality in ancient Egyptian culture. A detailed collar and bead-net pattern, painting in various hues, is depicted from waist to feet.
Her countenance, peaceful in appearance, is surrounded by a wig painted in black and complemented with a vulture headdress, representing maternal instincts and the protection of the goddess Nekhbet. The crossed positioning of the ankh and was scepters in her hands denote "life" and "power", respectively.
The board is marked with inscriptions requesting protection and nourishment in the afterlife. The rear side is painted with yellow pigments and illustrates Nut, the sky-goddess, amongst stars, symbolizing rebirth. Additionally, the Four Sons of Horus are shown, their purpose being to safeguard the deceased's organs.
Though the design adheres to Egyptian standards, the subject's distinct portrayal gives insights into the evolution of Dynastic art. It provides a comprehensive scan of the societal hierarchy, religious practices, and outstanding aesthetics of ancient Egypt.