Most interesting finds from Khay's tomb

Openwork mummy cover
Openwork mummy coverIn one of the tomb-chambers of Khay's subterranean complex the Expedition found fifteen fragments of an intriguing object. Together these wooden elements were all that was left of an openwork mummy cover, a rather rare type of funerary requisite known from a number of parallels from Saqqara and elsewhere. Overlaid in linen and brightly painted gesso, and partly covered in gold leaf, the object must have made a dazzling impression when the coffin of the deceased was opened. The decoration is the usual one for contemporary coffin lids. The body was wrapped in longitudinal and transverse bandages, inscribed with protective spells and with figurative scenes and amuletic designs in between. The presence of gold leaf on the face, hands, and feet surprises in a modest burial such as Khay's, until one realises that he was used to handle gold during his professional career.