Menmaatre Seti I (or Sethos I as in Greek) was a pharaoh of the New Kingdom Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt, the son of Ramesses I and Queen Sitre, and the father of Ramesses II. As with all dates in Ancient Egypt, the actual dates of his reign are unclear, and various historians claim different dates, with 1294 BC to 1279 BC and 1290 BC to 1279 BC being the most commonly used by scholars today.
The name ‘Seti’ means “of Set”, which indicates that he was consecrated to the god Set (also termed “Sutekh” or “Seth”). As with most pharaohs, Seti had several names. Upon his ascension, he took the prenomen “mn-m3‘t-r‘ ”, usually vocalized as Menmaatre, in Egyptian, which means “Established is the Justice of Re.” His better known nomen, or birth name, is transliterated as “sty mry-n-ptḥ” or Sety Merenptah, meaning “Man of Set, beloved of Ptah”.
Canopic jars were used by the ancient Egyptians during the mummificaton process to store and preserve the viscera of their owner for the afterlife. They were commonly either carved from limestone or were made of pottery. These jars were used by the ancient Egyptians from the time of the Old Kingdom until the time of the Late Period or the Ptolemaic Period, by which time the viscera were simply wrapped and placed with the body.The viscera were not kept in a single canopic jar: each jar was reserved for specific organs. The name “canopic” reflects the mistaken association by early Egyptologists with the Greek legend of Canopus.
This sarcophagus was found among the grave goods in the intact Tomb of Sennedjem in Deir al Medina, the settlement of the builders and craftsmen that undertook the construction works on the royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings. Found in 1886, it was identified to date back to the Nineteenth Dynasty, during the reign of King Ramesses II (1279-1212 B.C.E.). This sarcophagus belongs to one of the members of the family of Sennedjem, one of the necropolis workers who were responsible for building and decorating royal underground tombs in the Valley of the Kings.
The man’s mummy was housed within two sarcophaguses. This outer anthropoid (mummy-shaped) sarcophagus pictures the man wrapped in bandages standing in the Osiride-form with his arms crossed and his left hand holding Knot of Isis (also known as the Tjet Tyet, Tet, Tit, Tat, That) and the right the Djed Pillar, the emblem of Osiris (now partly damaged). The body is decorated with various Hieroglyphic texts painted in intersected rows, between two of which appears a funerary scene involving the deceased and other protective deities , such as Anubis, Nut, Isis and Nephthys. The deceased is depicted with black hair on one side and white hair on the other. Over the head is a wig typical to the style of the Ramesside Period embellished with a frieze of leaves and fruits. Hanging down from the neck is a broad shoulder-to-shoulder necklace known as the ‘usekh collar’ decorated with multiple strings. It is fastened to the shoulders with clasps in the shape of the lotus flowers, symbol of rebirth.