The scientific tourist #325 — the coffin of Harwa

The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago displays this coffin in an oddly understated way, packed in among a bevy of mummies and their grave goods.  It belonged to a man named Harwa, who lived in the early 7th century BC in what is now Thebes.

Coffin of Harwa

Harwa attained an office variously translated as “Grand Steward of the Divine Adoratrice” or “Chief Steward of the Divine Wife” — but recent study of his tomb has revealed that he was essentially the ruler of all of southern Egypt on behalf of the pharaohs of the 25th Dynasty.

As for Harwa’s green face — here’s what a placard has to say about it:

Green was the color of fertility, and often of the god Osiris. Painting the images of dead people with green faces showed that they had become like Osiris and would have eternal life.

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