In burials of important people the mummy itself was often encased in a 'cartonnage' covering, which, like the second coffin, would have been elaborately decorated with images of the gods and prayers to support the dead person in the afterlife

The cartonnage was made from layers of linen or papyrus soaked in plaster, and would have been decorated with the face of the deceased so that their 'ba' spirit could recognise the body.