"Nut, the sky goddess, was of great importance as a protector of the dead at least as early as the Old Kingdom. Her funerary associations are twofold. On the one hand she was regarded as the mother of the deceased through his identification with Osiris (the son of Nut). The goddess could be symbolically identified with the coffin and so, when the dead man was sealed inside this, it was as if he was being placed within the body of Nut, his divine mother, thereby reaching a state from which he could begin a new life. Indeed, in texts of the Old Kingdom the word for the chest of a sarcophagus is mwt (`mother') - a clear allusion to this concept while on the interiors of many coffins of the Libyan Period a figure of the goddess appears, extending her arms as if to embrace the mummy. Nut's other important role, as sky goddess, led to her close association with the coffin lid. This lay above the mummy, just as Nut was supposed to stretch her star-studded body over the earth. In an important prayer, first found in the Pyramid Texts, the goddess is beseeched to spread herself over the deceased in a gesture of protection: `O my mother Nut, spread yourself over me, so that I may be placed among the imperishable stars and may never die.' Versions of this text were commonly written on coffin and sarcophagus lids and, beginning in the New Kingdom; figures of Nut in various protective attitudes were also depicted."