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Sarcophagus lid portraying the goddess Nut


Sarcophagus lid portraying the goddess Nut, Necropolis of Thebes, 740-700 B.C.
Turin, Museo delle Antichità Egizie, inv. C. 2220

The lid belongs to the sarcophagus containing the mummy of the "lady of the house" Tararo. An extremely beautiful portrayal of the sky goddess Nut adorns the outside of the lid to protect the deceased, ensuring that she will enjoy the eternity of the astral cycle. The goddess's name is written in hieroglyphics above her head, the last sign depicting the vault of heaven. Above her head we see the Sun disc which Nut lifts up by raising her arms, evoking the Sun as it rises above the horizon. The goddess was often present inside sarcophagi in this period, in most cases with her arms open to welcome the deceased in what might almost be seen as an embrace. In her capacity as the "lady of the sky", Nut enjoyed the closest connection with the Sun and its daily cycle from sunrise to sunset.