The Egyptian Coffin After Burial

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Johanna Movassat
Art History
12 April 2012
The Egyptian Coffin After Burial
As a child, ancient egyptian history was my escape. I would sit under my covers for hours reading books I had recently checked out from my city library about pharaohs, pyramids, and my favorite subject of all, Cleopatra. When visiting The Rosicrucian Museum of San Jose, I felt like a child agin. While touring the many different exhibits, I became more excited and interested one after another. After carefully reviewing over 4 pairs of artifacts, I chose to compare and contrast a predynastic box coffin and a Middle Kingdom coffin. The predynastic box coffin dates back to 3200 B.C.E and is not adorned with any after life offerings or scriptures, while the coffin of Lady Mesehti is adorned extravagantly. I believe these two coffins show how the egyptian civilization progressed, from modest beginnings to how the egyptians viewed wealth in the after life after prosperity. (Rosicrucian Museum)

At first glance, the early dynastic coffin appears to be some sort of crate or chest. After further investigation, I came to learn that ancient Egypt’s unique traditions were largely formed during the early dynastic period. During this time, prosperity and tradition became widespread. Egyptian kings have gained notoriety in todays society for their mysterious, yet divine rule. (Rosicrucian Museum) The king was considered the omnipotent ruler of upper and lower Egypt. Because egyptian rulers were so highly respected, they were buried in mastabas. These types of tombs first appear in the Predynastic period when they were used to protect the burial of Kings. The form of the mastaba at the time was limited to oblong heaps of stone which would cover the grave. The mastaba would alter very slightly in the Old Kingdom to become heaps of stone covered with flat blocks. These blocks were still just a covering for the real tomb, the body was still buried in the ground. A narrow shaft would lead down to a...
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