This is an example of a likely Thebes coffin used in Egypt at around 1000-968 BC (Sturdwick, 1999). This type of coffin was used for the relatively rich people, and one coffin would be used to bury several people in succession. Wood was the main material used to make the coffin, although additional decorations would be added, together with a yellow varnish. These decorations were placed in a white background to help them stand out. The major theme contained in the inscription was the deceased making offerings to the various deities of the time. Thebes’s coffins that were used around 1000 to 900 BC were placed in an undecorated tomb walls because the coffins already had smaller inscriptions of decoration denoting scenes in their both interior and exterior.
The person being buried would be laid on top of the image of the Goddess of the sky, commonly referred as Nut. The Goddess Nut was used to symbolize resurrection and reincarnation. She was believed to protect the deceased and provide them with food for eternal sustenance. An illustration from the death book of the Egyptians was also included in the coffin. The purpose of this was to provide, instructions to the deceased as they maneuver to the afterlife. (Faulkner, Wasserman & Goelet, 2008).
The Thebes coffin was considered one of the most valuable objects for the royalty and the elite. They used it as their tomb as it was believed to preserve corpses from mutilation or deterioration. The ones made of metals considered precious during ancient times cost more and were a preserve for the royalty. These royalties would purchase these coffins during their lifetime in preparation for new life after death.
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Faulkner, R. O., Wasserman, J., Goelet, O., & Von, D. E. (2008). The Egyptian book of the dead:
The book of going forth by day : being the Papyrus of Ani (royal scribe of the divine
offerings), written and illustrated circa 1250 B.C.E., by scribes and artists unknown,
including the balance of chapters of the books of the dead known as the Theban
recension, compiled from ancient texts, dating back to the roots of Egyptian civilization.
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Strudwick, N., & Strudwick, H. (1999). Thebes in Egypt: A guide to the tombs and temples of
ancient Luxor. Ithaca, NY: Cornelll University Press.
Willems, H. (1996). The coffin of Heqata: (Cairo JdE 36418) : a case study of Egyptian funerary
culture of the early Middle Kingdom. Leuven: Uitgeverij Peeters en Departement