Wendy Warlick: Ancient egyptian coffins and mummies

The ancient Egyptians believed in afterlife. According to Ancient Encyclopedia “the afterlife for the ancient Egyptians was The Field of Reeds which was a perfect reflection of the life one had lived on earth.” Egyptians had a lot of traditions they did to help prepare themselves for afterlife. The Ancient Encyclopedia says that their belief in afterlife is why the bodies were mummified after death. The Egyptians believed that the body needed to be preserved here on Earth in order for the soul to have an afterlife. As part of their preparations for afterlife some Egyptians purchased a sarcophagus, a coffin and possibly an inner coffin. Coffins were generally made of wood, metal, stone or pottery. Gold and silver was used on some coffins, but this was generally reserved for kings or royalty.  Some Egyptians were also buried with funerary objects. Not all could afford these though. Those that could not afford the objects generally had images of them painted on their coffins or tomb walls. A lot of the coffins were beautifully decorated with a lot of hieroglyphics and images. The hieroglyphics on the coffin included their name and title. There were also generally hieroglyphics on the back of the sarcophagus. “The line of hieroglyphics which run vertically down the back of a sarcophagus represent the backbone of the deceased and was thought to provide strength to the mummy in rising to eat and drink.” (Ancient Encyclopedia) According to an article by Monet even the people who didn’t have elaborate decorations generally at least had “eyes painted on their coffins so the deceased could see.” There were also decorations on the inside of the coffins including “a false door and lists of offerings”, according to Monet. The false door was there so the dead could step out to make their offerings. Some coffins are covered with spells from the Book of the Dead, these are spells they believed would help them in afterlife. Some coffins also had an image of the goddess of rebirth, Nut. The goddess Isis was also on a lot of coffins as a guard. This goddess was generally painted at the head and foot of the coffin. Another common image was an image of a scarab. The scarab was an image associated with rebirth. A lot of Egyptians also had images of the person wearing jewelry painted on their coffins. The wealthy were shown wearing many strands of beaded necklaces. Inside the coffin there was a mummy board placed on top of the mummy. This board consisted of 2 pieces. The first piece was for the top of the mummy including the face and crossed arms. The second piece was for the lower half of the body. In addition to the mummy board some of them also had a mask. According to crystalinks “This mask was believed to strengthen the spirit of the mummy and guard the soul from evil spirits on its way to the afterworld.” As you can see a lot of thought went into these beautifully decorated sarcophagi and coffin boxes.   Monet, Jefferson. "Tour Egypt :: The Coffins of Ancient Egypt." The Coffins of Ancient Egypt. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.

"Mummification Explore." Mummification Explore. The British Museum. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.  "Egyptian Mummification." Artifacts: Mummy Cases, Coffins, and Sarcophagi, Mummification, Online Exhibits, Exhibits, Spurlock Museum, U of I. Spurlock Museum, 2016. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.  Mark, Joshua J. "Ancient Egyptian Burial." Ancient History Encyclopedia. 19 Jan. 2013. Web. 05 May 2016.

"Egyptian Afterlife Ceremonies, Sarcophagi, Burial Masks - Crystalinks." Egyptian Afterlife Ceremonies, Sarcophagi, Burial Masks - Crystalinks. Web. 05 May 2016.

This beautiful coffin is also referred to as a sarcophagus. This sarcophagus was made for a man. But, it is a woman that was put in this sarcophagus after her death. The woman is this sarcophagus was Taremetchenbastet, and she was the daughter of Ptahirdis. According to Egiptoforo this sarcophagus was found “on the west bank of the Nile near Cairo”. This sarcophagus is made out of polychrome wood. According to Egiptoforo this wooden sarcophagus is carved and it has a layer of stucco and white paint on it. According to the Google Cultural Institute the face on this sarcophagus is covered with gold foil. The sarcophagus also has a wig and an artificial beard, according to the Google Cultural Institute. As mentioned in the introduction to this gallery, some Egyptians had jewelry on their sarcophagus. You can see many strands of beads on this sarcophagus. Right below the beads is a large winged person, probably a goddess. This goddess could possibly be Horus who represented the sun. It could also possibly be the goddess Nut, which is the goddess of the sky. Another possibility is the goddess Isis. Isis is the protector of the dead. I have not seen any research that knows exactly which goddess it is on this sarcophagus. Below the goddess you see that there are ten columns of script on this sarcophagus. This script includes words from The Book of the Dead. The Book of the Dead was full of spells and information for the deceased to use in their afterlife. According to Budge this information was considered very important for them to know so that they could achieve happiness after death. Afterlife was very important to the Egyptians in ancient times. They put a lot of care and thought into making sure they were ready for afterlife. "Egypt and the Near East." MAN. Web. 18 Apr. 2016. "Sarcophagus of Taremetchenbastet." Egiptoforo.com. 6 Mar. 2011. Web. 04 May 2016. Budge, E.A. Wallis. "Egyptian Book of the Dead." Egyptian Book of the Dead. Web. 04 May 2016. "Coffin of Tatemetchenbastet" Google Cultural Institute. Web. 18 April 2016
According to Nature Publishing group this mummy and mummy box was brought to the British Museum in 1899. It is believed that this coffin box was possibly originally made for a woman. But, it is a man that was put in this coffin box after his death. This man was a priest and his name was Nesperennub. Nesperennub was alive around 800 BC. And, they think Nesperennub was around 40 years old when he passed away. According to Google Cultural Institute the mummy of Nesperennub was “discovered Luxor in the 1890’s”. On this coffin box you see white hieroglyphics going down the front center of the box. On the side of the box there are blue hieroglyphics. According to Google Cultural Institute the hieroglyphics on the box is how we know he was a priest. There is text in the hieroglyphics letting you know that he and his father were both priests. Inside this coffin is a wooden mummy case. And, inside that case is the mummy of Nesperennub. According to Nature Publishing group this mummy has glass eyes, this is common for mummies from that time period to have this. When they put the body through the mummification process they gave them glass eyes so the person could see in the afterlife. This mummy was part of a project done by the British Museum in 2004. The British Museum used special X-rays, CT scans and computer technology to see inside the mummy wrappings. It is amazing that they were able to see the the mummy without disturbing the mummy wrappings. When they looked at the body under the mummy wrappings they noticed a hole above his left eye. It is possible that this hole could be an explanation about how he died. After this process they were able to create computer images of what Nesperennub might have possibly looked like. "Virtual-reality Mummy." Nature.com. Nature Publishing Group, 11 Mar. 2002. Web. 04 May 2016. "Collection Object Details." British Museum. Web. 18 Apr. 2016. "Mummy of Nesperennub" Google Cultural Institute. Web, 18 April 2016
According to Google Cultural Institute “Hornedjitef was a priest in the Temple of Amun at Karnak during the reign of Ptolemy III”. According to BBC Hornedjitef died around 220 BC “and was buried at Thebes. This mummy has gone though special X-rays and CT scans so they could learn more about Hornedjitef. One of the observations that was made when looking at the mummy is that he appears to have lived to an advanced age. According to Google Cultural Institute “the mummy was covered from shoulder to foot with a cartonnage cover”. The mask is a separate piece. Taylor says “As part of elaborate funeral arrangements, the mask was placed over a dead person's head, like a helmet.” The mummy mask is golden. The golden face is possibly a sig of royalty. According to Google Cultural Institute the golden face shows that “he has become divine”. Ancient Egyptians were very concerned about the head being separated from the body. If they were to be separated it would prevent them from reaching afterlife. Since they were concerned about this there are spells on Hornedjitef’s mask that they believed would keep his head intact with the rest of his body. According to BBC there is more that was done to the coffin to help him prepare for aferlife. “ On the lid of his inner coffin, he even had painted a map of the heavens stretched out above him as an aid to navigation.” The coffin cover has images of gods on it. The cover also has hieroglyphics from the Book of The Dead on there. According to BBC “ A figure of the sky goddess Nut is painted on the interior of this coffin. This symbolically locates Hornedjitef in the womb of the goddess, ready to experience rebirth.” A lot of thought went into making sure Hornedjitef would be ready for afterlife. "Mummy of Hornedjitef (third Century BC). A Wooden Coffin from Thebes, Egypt." BBC. BBC. Web. 4 May 2016. John Taylor. "Jack Trelawny Resources." Jack Trelawny 'J T': The World's Leading School Author Visitor. Web. 04 May 2016. "World History: Mummy of Hornedjitef." BBC. BBC. Web. 4 May 2016. "Collection Object Details." British Museum. Web. 18 Apr. 2016. "Mummy Mask of Hornedjitef" Google Cultural Institute. Web. 18 April 2016
The Coffin and Mummy board of Pasebakhaemipet is covered with detailed decorations. According to the Brooklyn Museum 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”. It was a tradition during ancient times for Egyptians to puts gods and goddesses on their coffins. Another image on the inside of the coffin is the colorful ba birds. According to Lansberry the ba birds “represent what we call soul.” On the outside to this coffin there are a lot of detailed images and scenes. According to the writing by Lansberry these scenes on the coffin show the “transition of the deceased into the next world.” There is an image of the weighing of the heart ceremony. The weighing of the heart was part of what the Egyptians thought would happen after death. This symbolizes the person being judged for their behavior. According the weighing of the heart article the heart was weighed on a scale with the feather on the opposite side of the heart. If the heart was heavier than the feather they believed that was from weight of doing wrong & the heart would be devoured by a beast. If the heart equaled the feathers weight they would go to a good place in the afterlife. There is also a scene showing the deceased “making an offering to an enthroned falcon in a shrine”. (Lansberry) According to the Brooklyn Museum the mummy board shows that Pasebakhaemipet is a “living presence arrived in the next world”. Pasebakhaemipet was the mayor of Thebes. The Brooklyn Museum believes that he died between 1110 and 939 BC. Pasebakhaemipet’s coffin is made of wood and has been painted. Since the coffin is elaborate and the mummy was wrapped in an expensive style for that time it has been speculated that Pasebakhaemipet had a “high status in Egyptian society” (Brooklyn Museum). "Weighing of the Heart." Ceremony. Web. 05 May 2016. Lansberry, Joan. "Coffin and Mummy Board of Pasebakhaemipet." Coffin and Mummy Board of Pasebakhaemipet. Web. 04 May 2016. "Coffin and Mummy Board of Pasebakhaemipet." Brooklyn Museum: Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art:. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.
This is the cartonnage for Nespanetjerenpere. According to the Brooklyn Museum cartonnage is the “innermost case for the mummified body”. According to Ancient Art it is believed that this cartonnage “dates to the Third Intermediate Period, and is reportedly from Thebes”. According to Google Cultural Institute, one interesting fact about this cartonnage is that Nespanetjerenpere’s mummy is missing. The head of this cartonnage has a large wig. This cartonnage also has a braided beard. According to Google Cultural Institute the large wig and braided beard are a sign of divinity. The face on this cartonnage is painted red and has blue outlines around the eyes. It has glass eyes, which was common for ancient Egyptian to use for burial. The Egyptians believed that the glass eyes would help the deceased to see in the afterlife. According to Google Cultural Institute there are religious scenes painted on the cartonnage. There is an image of a “ram-headed falcon on his chest”.(Brooklyn Museum) This image of the falcon “represents the sun god's nightly journey through the land of the dead”. (Brooklyn Museum) According to Lansberry there is an image of a “protective pectoral” above the collar on the cartonnage. The “protective pectoral” is in the form of a “djed-pillar and a tyet-amulet”. (Lansberry) Here is what Lansberry says this means, “The djed-pillar is the hieroglyphic writing of the word "stability" or "endurance," and the sign tyet, often written in association with djed, expresses the idea of well-being” Lansberry also says there are hieroglyphs on the base of this cartonnage. The hieroglyphs on the base mean “life and power”. (Lansberry) When learning about the life of Nespaneterenpera, Google Institute says that he “was a god-father of Amun, one of those priests who were free to enter the sanctuary.” "Ancientart." ANCIENT ART. Web. 05 May 2016. Lansberry, Joan. "Cartonnage of Nespanetjerenpere." Cartonnage of Nespanetjerenpere. Web. 05 May 2016. "Cartonnage of Nespanetjerenpere." Brooklyn Museum: Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art:. Web. 18 Apr. 2016. "Cartonnage of Nespanetjerenpere" Google Cultural Institute. Web. 18 April 2016
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