One mummy – many coffins
2013 08 23

From: Past Horizons



Boxes and other forms of containers are technologies that arise at given points of time in various cultures. Everybody knows the ancient Egyptian practice of mummifying their dead. What is perhaps less known is that they placed the mummies inside layer upon layer of coffins says Anders Bettum, Egyptologist at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo.

A similar idea can be found with Russian dolls, Chinese boxes and even Norwegian poetry traditions.

“The Egyptian coffin sets are based on the same principle that we can observe with Chinese boxes and Russian nested matryoshka dolls, where objects are nested inside each other to constitute a complete ensemble,” he says.


Coffin set belonging to the temple singer Tamutnofret, composed of an outer coffin, an inner coffin and a “mummy-cover”, a full-length death mask that was placed over the mummy. The origin of the set is a now unknown grave in Thebes. It can be dated back to the reign of Ramses II (approx. 1279-1213 BCE).

Ancient Egyptian history encompasses a period of nearly three thousand years, up to the Roman conquest in the year 30 BCE. Today, museums all over the world possess mummies or coffins that have contained mummies of more or less prominent men and women.

The child king Tutankhamun (1334-24 BCE) was buried in as many as eight coffins, according to Bettum.

“For men and women who were members of the ancient Egyptian elite at that time, three or four coffins were not unusual,” he adds.

Linking the dead to the gods

According to the researcher’s recent PhD thesis, “Faces within Faces – The Symbolic Function of Nested Yellow Coffins in Ancient Egypt”, nested coffins were not only a status symbol for the Egyptian elite.

“They also played a key role in the process that would link the deceased to their ancestors: to Osiris, the god of the afterlife, and to Amun-Ra, the sun- and creator god,” Bettum says.

Funeral rituals – a unification of two myths

The rituals and the myths that were reiterated during the seventy days that a funeral lasted are symbolically rendered on the coffins. The components of each nest, including the mummy-cover, the inner and outer coffins – reflect the Egyptians’ view of the world.

[...]

Read the full article at: pasthorizonspr.com



Related Articles
Mummified women, human sacrifices discovered in ancient Peruvian tomb
2,500-year-old mummy removed from coffin for rare cleaning
Hair products revealed in new study of Egyptian mummies
Egyptian Mummies as Commodities
Mummy Evisceration Techniques
Mummies come to life through facial reconstruction
Who stabbed him in the back? Scan reveals 5,500-year-old mummy murder mystery
A long-lost piece of King Tut
Mystery of King Tut’s death solved?
Mysterious Coffin Found At Richard III’s Burial Site Contains... A Second Coffin
Coffin culture evolves in Russia


Latest News from our Front Page

Sweden Recognizes Palestinian State; Israel Upset
2014 10 31
Sweden on Thursday became the biggest Western European country to recognize a Palestinian state, prompting a strong protest from Israel, which swiftly withdrew its ambassador from Stockholm. The move by Sweden’s new left-leaning government reflects growing international impatience with Israel’s nearly half-century control of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and its blockade of the Gaza Strip. It also comes during increased ...
Fed-Backed Study: How to Brainwash Public into Fearing “Climate Change” Like Ebola
2014 10 31
$84K study seeks ways to make public fear "climate change and overpopulation" The National Science Foundation is funding a study to determine how to brainwash the public into fearing “climate change and overpopulation” as if they were Ebola. The NSF awarded an $84,000 grant to researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo yesterday to figure out how to make ...
Brain decoder can eavesdrop on your inner voice
2014 10 31
As you read this, your neurons are firing – that brain activity can now be decoded to reveal the silent words in your head TALKING to yourself used to be a strictly private pastime. That’s no longer the case – researchers have eavesdropped on our internal monologue for the first time. The achievement is a step towards helping people who cannot ...
6 Million Lies
2014 10 30
“If you do not specify and confront real issues, what you say will surely obscure them. If you do not alarm anyone morally, you yourself remain morally asleep. If you do not embody controversy, what you say will be an acceptance of the drift of the coming hell.” C Wright Mills. I need to share information I have discovered ...
Google’s New Computer With Human-Like Learning Abilities Will Program Itself
2014 10 30
In college, it wasn’t rare to hear a verbal battle regarding artificial intelligence erupt between my friends studying neuroscience and my friends studying computer science. One rather outrageous fellow would mention the possibility of a computer takeover, and off they went. The neuroscience-savvy would awe at the potential of such hybrid technology as the CS majors argued we have nothing to ...
More News »