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A common inclusion in burials, either as models or paintings, were the Four Sons Of Horus, the guardians of the internal organs. The examples shown here are painted on a coffin lid in the N.M.S.

This detail shows another common image from Egyptian coffin art, in which the soul of the deceased in the form of his human headed Ba bird offers praises to the mummified form of the god Osiris. It was hoped that if the dead were identified with Osiris he would provide them with protection in the afterlife.

A wide range of images occur frequently in coffin art. Many of these were intended to identify the deceased with various gods. In these examples Isis holding the Ankh symbol is shown praising the mummified body of the deceased represented as Osiris.

The jackal headed God, possibly Anubis, holds the hook and flail. These are symbols of royal power. In addition he wears the combined crown of upper and lower Egypt showing he is the king of the two lands.

Horus himself is a surprisingly infrequent star in Egyptian coffin art. This is probably because the Falcon is usually associated with light, airy places, not tombs. The Falcon headed god Sokaris is a more common feature, but it is thought that his association with death came some time after the god was established.

This photograph shows Horus, and his 4 Sons.

All objects photographed here are from the collection of the National Museums of Scotland.
Thanks to the N.M.S. Department of History and Applied Art for information concerning the objects.

Coffin Baseboard Details Anthropoid Coffins Gods And Goddesses Birds And Feathers