josh pierce: ancient egypt laid to rest

I am doing my research on the Egyptian mummies and burial process. These ancient artifacts that I have discovered resemble a very interesting process that took place once one had passed away. The ancient Egyptians believe that the human body was very important for the afterlife and that is why it is believed that these people have been mummified and preserved. The Egyptians believed that the afterlife consisted of the person going another life where the possessions that they had in this life would be used in the next life and that is why they were buried with their most prized possessions. The process of mummification is to embalm and wrap the body in order to preserve and prepare it for burial. The coffin of the ancient Egyptians was very important because it resembled a second body of the deceased. “As with portraits, coffin styles and decorations changed over time. The earliest were made of wood and were basically rectangular boxes. This type of coffin remained common through the Middle Kingdom, though it was then that the anthropoid-shaped coffins first appeared as an inner container for the body placed within the rectangular outer coffin” (touregypt.net) Just as the coffin shapes changed over time and evolved the art on the outsides of the coffins evolved as well. It is said that the eyes on the outside of the coffins are placed there so that the deceased can still see. “In addition to these styles, there is also a type of coffin from this period called the "court style", which was reserved primarily for members of the royal family. Court coffins were adorned with bands of hieroglyphs in a very simple style. On some coffins, the corners and bands of the hieroglyphs are embellished with gold leaf” (touregypt.net). Looking through the collection of images I have chosen for this project there is a striking similarity among the different coffins even though there are major time gaps between when they were constructed. This leads me to believe that these rituals were very important to the Egyptian culture and that the artwork on the outside of the coffins played a major part in the burial process. This whole process that the ancient Egyptians took to make sure that their loved ones were buried and prepared for the afterlife is so fascinating. By looking through the images I have selected you can see the time and care that went into each person and the important role that these individuals played in the lives of the people around them. We can get a glimpse into the lives of those that lived so long ago by just studying the art work that has been carefully and thoughtfully created on the outside of these mummies. It is an amazing thing to think about because if it weren’t for the creativeness that God provided these individuals and the tools He blessed them with then we would have a hard time understanding that period of time, but it is because of Him that we are given the chance to take a peak into that period of time.

                                                                                                        Works Cited                                                               "Tour Egypt :: The Coffins of Ancient Egypt." The Coffins of Ancient Egypt. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2016."This Place." Brooklyn Museum. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2016.

This coffin is constructed with red clay and resembles a male figure on the outside. This coffin is considered to be created as one of the earliest coffins and probably for a person not of great wealth because of the lack of artistic work on the outside. This coffin is constructed with a matte finish with no vibrant varnish coating. The inside of this coffin resembles a female figure and the coffin box is approximately 22 x 7 5/16 x 69 in. in diameter. “The mummy shown here has undergone carbon-14 dating, a scientific method used to determine the date of archaeological samples. The results indicate that Thothirdes died between 768 and 545 B.C.E., supporting the Twenty-sixth Dynasty date suggested by the style of his coffin. Coffins like this one protected the mummy and ensured entrance to the afterlife by pictorially illustrating Egyptian hopes for what happens after death and by associating the deceased with Osiris, king of the dead. Near the center of the lid, Thothirdes is shown as a mummy, mourned by the goddesses Isis and Nephthys (respectively, the wife and sister of Osiris) just as they mourned Osiris himself. Thothirdes’s ba-soul, painted as a human-headed bird, hovers above him, signaling that his soul can work effectively after death. Slightly above this scene, two gods lead Thothirdes away from the test where his heart was weighed against “truth” in a balance scale. Having thus proven he lived a life of truth, Thothirdes is now on his way to a happy afterlife” (brooklynmuseum.org). So much goes into a mummy like the one pictured. There are so many aspects of this persons’ life that have been shown and can teach us that this person lived a meaningful life here on earth. This mummy as being very old and one of the first styles still shows great detail of a life well lived.
This coffin is constructed from plaster and designed in Thebes, Egypt. At first glance you can see that this mummy depicts Osiris and Anubis on the outside in artwork. The mummies name means “bouquet of roses” which makes me believe that this could be the mummy of a female. This coffin box has the dimensions of 65 ¼ x ½ x 11 ½ in. “This cartonnage provides a Who’s Who of Egyptian gods, both funerary and non-funerary. They include Osiris, lord of the afterlife; Anubis, the jackal-headed god, conducting the dead to the next world; and the Four Sons of Horus, who protected specific mummified organs of the body. Among the sky gods are Khepri, the winged beetle; Sokar, in his boat; and the hawk-headed form of Horus with outstretched wings. Thoth, the god of intellectual activity, takes the form of an ibis bird. This mummy’s name, Gautseshenu, means “bouquet of lotuses.” The Egyptian word seshen (“lotus”) is the origin of the name Susan” (Brooklynmuseum.com). This mummy was constructed in the XXV dynasty – XXVI dynasty during the Third Intermediate Period – Late Period. Also constructing this mummy is Linen in which the mummy was wrapped and also paint in which most of the exterior art work was done in. As you can see from simply taking a quick glance at this coffin is that this person was very well known and powerful in the society in which they lived in. You can tell that this was a female by the way that the exterior of the coffin is designed and by context clues you can find in the art work. The way this mummy was constructed a viewer will be able to tell that this was after mummies were first started and it seems that this is where they eventually evolved into becoming more intricate with detail and perfected more and more as time went on.
As you can see with a closer look at this mummy is that the God Osiris is depicted multiple times throughout the design. The dimensions of this coffin were 12 5/8 x 21 5/8 x 76 3/8 in. This coffin has images and artwork that can tell us that this person either held a position high in public office or was a member of a royal family of the time. “Magical decoration ensuring the deceased’s wishes was at first put on tomb walls, but in Dynasty 21, the most elaborate decoration began to appear primarily on coffins. The lid of this coffin shows Osiris, the god of the dead, depicted multiple times; Nut, the sky goddess; and, on the interior, the goddess of the afterlife—three deities who together create a miniature universe for the mummy to inhabit. The outsides of the box depict the deceased’s journey to the afterlife, including the final judgment by weighing his heart against the feather of truth, while the mummy board shows him as a living presence arrived in the next world. Carbon-14 dating conducted in 2009 indicates that Pasebakhaienipet, who was the mayor of Thebes, died between 1110 and 939 B.C.E., a date supported by the Twenty-first Dynasty style of his coffin. His elaborate coffin and mummification in the most expensive style suggest his high status in Egyptian society” (brooklynmuseum.com). This coffin can give us such a good look at the society of the time that this was created. So much thought has gone into this coffin and the amount of detail is amazing. This coffin was created to embody a figure that meant a lot to the people that created it, and it definitely shows in the work that was put into constructing it. From the colors used to the intricate design that is shown throughout, we are able to see from a glance that this person was well respected.
The figure shown is a funerary figure that has been decorated with paste inlays using a range of six multiple colors for the outer design of the coffin. The title of this coffin means mistress of the house and you can tell by the artwork and images that this person did not have a high rank in society although the coffin was very expensive to construct. The dimensions of this coffin are 9 feet high by 13/16 inches. “A taste for richly decorated objects developed during the time of Amunhotep III, both in statuary and in the personal arts such as pottery and jewelry. This funerary figure, or shawabti, is decorated vividly with paste inlays in six different colors, conveying a sense of opulence and excess not found in shawabtis from any other reign. Despite the costliness of such a piece, its owner, a woman named Sati, was neither royalty nor a high-ranking official; her title simply means "mistress of the house" (brooklynmuseum.com). After taking a look at the mummy you can tell that this was constructed for a woman by the outer appearance of the design. This is an interested mummy because of the amount of colors used and the height of the mummy. It is very detailed but differs greatly from the other mummies that are shown throughout this project. It has a very different feel to it and is not using vibrant colors like most of the other very detailed mummies. This mummy was constructed during the New Kingdom time period during the XVIII Dynasty around the dates of 1390-1252 B.C.E. It is reported that this mummy came from the area near Saqqara, Egypt. As we can tell by the dates it seems that this could have been the beginning of very intricate designs for these mummies because of the designs but also for the lack of vibrant colors that were used in many other detailed mummies that come from earlier dates in history.
This mummy shows many hyrogliphics painted on the exterior of the mummy resembling that this person could have held a position high in the government of the time or high in social status. This mummy was constructed with glass inlayed eyes and has a dimension of 69 11/16 x 17 5/16 in. It was constructed on linen mixed with plaster and has held up very well over time. This mummy has a large wig symbolizing divinity. After research and studying the mummy it has been said that this person held the position as a Theban priest in Egypt at the time of death. “Cartonnage, a substance made of cloth or papyrus mixed with plaster and water, was used during the Third Intermediate Period to make an innermost case for the mummified body. The mummy was inserted and the covering was then painted with funerary scenes and inscriptions and placed in one or more coffins, which had been decorated in much the same way. The decoration here was chosen to associate its occupant, the priest Nespanetjerenpere, with divine resurrection. The ram-headed falcon on his chest represents the sun god's nightly journey through the land of the dead. The small figures on the front represent deities aligned with various parts of his body, as described in the funerary Book of the Dead” (brooklynmuseum.com). This mummy was constructed during the Third Intermediate Period during the XXII Dynasty somewhere between the years of 945-718 B.C.E. as you can see with the dates that this mummy was constructed you can see the evolution of artwork and design of the years from the older mummies that are in this project. It is reported that this mummy was from Thebes, Egypt. This mummy is a great example of how the times changed and how these mummies went through many different styles of art work over the years and developed from very basic designs into very eye appealing designs that were very intricate.
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