Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ancient Egypt Coffins

coffins The mortuary regalia that appeared in Egypt in the Old Kingdom (2575–2134 B.C.E.), designed to protect the remains of the deceased, such boxes were placed inside of MASTABAS, which were large enough to provide chapels and chambers for offerings. The coffins were painted on their sides to make them resemble the walls of the royal palaces, and doors, windows, and even patterns of hanging reed mats were fashioned as designs for these receptacles.




Illustrations of the  TUAT, or the Underworld, were often painted inside the coffins for the benefit of the deceased, and other maps, mortuary texts, and symbols were placed on the outside, with magical spells included for protection. Anthropoid coffins appeared in the Seven- teenth Dynasty (1640–1550  B.C.E.) as large, wooden boxes. The CARTONNAGE style used the external pattern of bandages with prayers and the name of the deceased. Collars and  AMULETS were part of the design. By the Twentieth Dynasty (1196–1070 B.C.E.) the coffins had a yellow base coat with painted designs. Some had low reliefs that included headdresses, carved wooden hands, head collars, and braces.




Cartonnage masks were developed in the First Inter- mediate Period (2134–2040 B.C.E.) but were extended in later dynasties to cover the entire mummified remains. Both the inner and outer coffins were fashioned in carton- nage, with idealized masks of the deceased along with the usual mortuary incantations. The anthropoidal coffins were elaborately painted, dressed in the robes of HORUS or in the feathers of the goddess NEKHEBET. The  RISHI PAT- TERN or feather design was popular in the Seventeenth and early Eighteenth Dynasties (1640–1400 B.C.E.). See also MORTUARY RITUALS.





Coffin Texts These were inscriptions placed inside the coffins of Egyptians, containing spells and incantations intended to help the deceased on their journeys to the hereafter. Developed in  HERAKLEOPOLIS MAGNA in the First Intermediate Period (2134–2040 B.C.E.), these texts evolved from the Twelfth Dynasty (1991–1783  B.C.E.) mortuary formulas. The Coffin Texts were composed of the PYRAMID TEXTS, which had been placed only in royal tombs in the Fifth and Sixth Dynasties (2465–2150 B.C.E.), and they were used by all Egyptians. Such texts had to be transferred to the coffins as the tombs became smaller, no longer offering wall space for inscriptions.








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