The nose and mouth from a mask Mummy wrappings Coffin fragments

The owners of the pyramids at Tombos were buried with all hallmarks of a contemporary Egyptian. We found evidence for coffins; unfortunately all were highly fragmentary due to termites. We may yet find better-preserved remains of coffins in future excavations.

Eye, in situ Ushabti figurine Ushabti in situ Scene of the dead working
in the afterlife


We also found Ushabti figurines. This example was found right next to the coffin, probably where it had been thrown by looters thousands of years ago. The Egyptian name for these funerary figurines, Ushabti or Shawabti, means answerer, indicating that they would magically answer when called to perform work for the deceased like you see in this tomb painting from Thebes.

(The Egyptians believed that the gods required the dead to work tilling and harvesting the celestial fields, as in this scene from the tomb of Sennedjem. But who wants to work away your afterlife? So some enterprising grave goods salesman came up with the idea of Ushabtis. Just to make sure, they started recommending that their clients get more than one - after all, what if it got sick or tired? Eventually they ended up with 365, one for each day of the year. But what if the right Ushabti didn't show up? Not to worry, for an extra fee you could have one overseer for every ten workers, for a grand total of 401.)