National Archaeological Museum of Parma
The Egyptian collection
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Anthropoid wooden coffin of Shepseptah, XXVI DynastyThe Egyptian collection in the National Archaeological Museum of Parma was created as a consequence of the historic events between the XVIII and XIX centuries, following the Napoleonic rule, and especially of the government of Parma by Napoleonís wife, the Duchess Maria Luigia, who left a deep mark on the Museum, which was directed by Michele Lopez. The Napoleonic campaign in Egypt was not successful but it was in that circumstance that the Rosetta Stone was found: its interpretation by Champollion fostered a series of archaeological expeditions to Egypt, including two significant ones (in 1928 and 1929) led by Champollion together with the Italian Archaeologist Ippolito Rossellini. This renewed enthusiasm for Egyptian antiquities, the connection with the French court, the renowned professional advices provided by Rossellini and the Duchessís support to the Directorís choices, led to the acquisition of most of the items in the current collection. The first acquisition, represented by some scarabs, dates back to October 1828 while the most substantial group was formed between 1830 and 1832 when Lopez bought more than 40 items: a sarcophagus and an outer covering, wooden and lithic stelae, papyri and several bronze and wooden objects, a wooden anthropoid coffin (the sarcophagus Shepsesptah), three sandstone stelae and a relief, two sycomore-wooden painted stelae.
In 1885 two remarkable pieces entered the collection: a sarcophagus and its mummy. Nothing has entered the collection after this date. The present arrangement was supervised by Giovanni Botti in 1965. Now you can see in the museum: funerary papyri, funerary necklaces, amulets, heart scarabs, funerary stone and painted wooden stelae, a wooden rectangular coffin belonging to the XII Dynasty, two anthropomorphic sarcophagi, one belonging to the XXVI Dynasty and the other containing its mummy and some Canopic jars of the Ptolemaic period.

Egyptian room: (above) stela  (18th Dynasty) and  funerary relief, (Amenhotep IIIís ages); (below)  wooden coffin, Twelfth Dynasty


Shabtis, funerary figurines of servants, Faience