Mummy Plaque of Queen Henuttawy

This golden mummy plaque covered an incision in the abdomen of queen Henuttawy caused by embalmers removing her internal organs during mummification.

The plaque was supposed to restore the body to its original state of strength as the wound was considered to be vulnerable and a possible entry point for negative forces. It is decorated with the Wadjet or Eye of Horus, as the symbol was associated with the idea of physical wholeness and protection.

Mummy plaque of Queen Henuttawy
Mummy plaque of Queen Henuttawy

The visceral incision is a cut made by embalmers in the lower abdomen during the mummification process in order to remove the internal organs. This amulet was meant to protect the mummy by protecting this vital wound in a vulnerable part of the body.

The Four Sons of Horus are praying to the Wadjet eye at the center of the plaque, ensuing the body’s ‘wholeness’ and in order to protect the deceased from evil. They most commonly appear as the guardians of the canopic jars, where the entrails of the deceased are interred. Each deity’s name is inscribed above his head.

Third Intermediate Period, 21st Dynasty, reign of Pinedjem I, ca. 1070-1032 BC. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE41586