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The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead on Coffins: Ritual Protection and Justification of the Deceased.

Author(s): Rita Lucarelli

Year: 2015

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The collection of texts and illustrations known as the ancient Egyptian "Book of the Dead" was especially en vogue on papyrus from the beginning of the New Kingdom through the Graeco-Roman period. However, abridged versions of Book of the Dead texts and vignettes have also been widely used to decorate a number of other funerary and magical objects. Among others, the anthropoid coffins produced during the Third Intermediate Period and the 25th Dynasty present a few intriguing features in relation to the role that the Book of the Dead plays in their decorative program.

In this paper it is argued that most of the extracts from the Book of the Dead occurring on coffins of the late New Kingdom and later periods have a specific ritual character concerning the protection, purification and justification of the deceased. Compared to the papyri of the Book of the Dead, coffins show a shorter but more distinctive selection of texts and vignettes from the same collection, whose analysis may deepen our understanding of mortuary rituals in the late New Kingdom and later.

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The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead on Coffins: Ritual Protection and Justification of the Deceased.. Rita Lucarelli. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395715)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -18.809; min lat: -38.823 ; max long: 53.262; max lat: 38.823 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America