Sarcophagus of Pabasa 656-640BC #museumfact

Pabasa was the most powerful male official of his day in Upper Egypt. Pharoah Psamtek I appointed him as Great Steward to his virgin daughter Nitocris who ruled Upper Egypt on the pharaoh’s behalf. The shape is that of the mummified Osiris, god of the dead, with whom Pabasa wishes to be identified. Figures of the sisters of Osiris, Isis and Nephthys and the goddesses Neith and Serket are shown at the foot and head of the trough. On the side of the trough are Thoth (the ibis-headed man who records the judgement of the heart), Imsety (the human headed son of Horus who protects the liver), Anubis (the jackal-headed man who is god of embalming, and Duamutef (the jackal-headed son of Horus who protects the stomach).

This sarcophagus was acquired by Alexander, the 10th Duke of Hamilton, who was an early Victorian collector and eccentric, and he placed it in the Egyptian Hall of Hamilton Palace. His wish was to be mummified on his death and to this end he acquired another sarcophagus for himself which was to be placed in the family mausoleum. Unfortunately he purchased a female sarcophagus which was not big enough for him and after his death his feet had to be broken so that he would fit inside.

You can view this sarcophagus in the Egyptian Room on the ground floor of Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum in Glasgow.

Intermezzo organise private viewings of Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum and offer assistance with income generation and sponsorship to Museums, Art Galleries and Heritage Properties. For more information contact us at or on 0141 636 6929