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Coffin Commerce
How a Funerary Materiality Formed Ancient Egypt


Part of Elements in Ancient Egypt in Context

  • Date Published: June 2021
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108823333

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About the Authors
  • This discussion will be centered on one ubiquitous and rather simple Egyptian object type – the wooden container for the human corpse. We will focus on the entire 'lifespan' of the coffin – how they were created, who bought them, how they were used in funerary rituals, where they were placed in a given tomb, and how they might have been used again for another dead person. Using evidence from Deir el Medina, we will move through time from the initial agreement between the craftsman and the seller, to the construction of the object by a carpenter, to the plastering and painting of the coffin by a draftsman, to the sale of the object, to its ritual use in funerary activities, to its deposit in a burial chamber, and, briefly, to its possible reuse.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2021
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108823333
    • length: 75 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 5 mm
    • weight: 0.15kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. The Power of the Thing
    3. The Egyptian Coffin as a Social Thing
    4. The Object as Container of Transformative Magic
    5. The Coffin as a Set of Social and Economic Choices
    6. The Coffin Craft System
    7. Coffins as Transactional Objects
    8. How Coffins Formed Egyptian Society.

  • Author

    Kathlyn M. Cooney, University of California, Los Angeles

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