Egyptian artifacts: Coffins and Sarcophagi in ancient Egypt

Facts about Coffins and Sarcophagus

We are going to talk about Coffins and Sarcophagi, as they considered the most beautiful and distinctive Egyptian artifacts.

Coffins and Sarcophagus
Facts about Coffins in ancient Egypt

A) The Old Kingdom

The sarcophagi were made of granite or alabaster. It was plain without any decorations & inscription just on some sarcophagi there was imitation of the facade of the royal palace.

It was covered with a lid either it was a flat lid or a carved one. Inside this sarcophagus, there was a coffin which was made out of wood sometimes covered with gold leaves.

B) The Middle Kingdom

They were made out granite, alabaster or limestone.

The coffin & sarcophagus had some decorations of offerings, 2 eyes “wd3t eyes” on the outer or the inner part of the sarcophagus as a link between the person & the outer or the inner part of the sarcophagus as a link between the person & the outer life, the false door (represented most probably the eyes as to help the deceased to get out from the sarcophagus & to enter once more to visit the body, or to fly in the sky in the form if a bird & return back.

C) The New Kingdom

The paintings & the illustrations on the sarcophagus became more accurate & large in size & they paid a great attention to it.

The sarcophagi used to be made out of black basalt of granite. They used to be decorated with several illustrations & with texts from boo of the dead.

During this period started to appear the anthropoid coffins which take the shape of the body of the deceased. Sometimes the sarcophagus took the shape of the human being.

The coffin was sometimes covered with gold leaves. By the end of the new kingdom, they paid great attention to the sarcophagus thus the illustrations & the decoration on the coffins started to become in a rush.

D) Greco-roman period:

It started to have just a modest intention most large as in the new kingdom appeared the masks of the portraits for the deceased.

ancient Egyptian art
Mummy portraits, art of ancient Egypt

The difference between the sarcophagus & the coffin is:

The sarcophagus is usually made out of stone or granite & inside it, we can put the coffin.

The coffin us usually made out of wood & placed inside the sarcophagus.

Read also: Ancient Egypt art, the Egyptian temple, and its components.