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rich in figures of this period. The famous Shékh el-Beled is what may well be termed a “speaking likeness,” and the other figures of that date show that he is not a solitary success of the Egyptian artist. In later times conventional representation was adopted in forming the figure, with the result that the sculptor lost the art of portraiture once and for all. Figures were made of granite, basalt, and other hard stones, limestone, | gold, silver, bronze, wood, steatite, faience, and terra-cotta. Standing figures have the arms placed at the sides of the body,and the hands usually hold a roll; sometimes, however, \

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they hold a sceptre, or weapon, or flowers, or #, and figures made in the form of Osiris have the hands crossed over the breast. Figures kneeling or sitting on the ground hold with both hands tablets or altars, or shrines engraved with funereal inscriptions, before them ; figures seated on thrones or chairs have the hands laid flat on the knees. All figures were draped, and the pedestals or plinths on which they stood were usually inscribed with the names and titles of the persons for whom they were made; at times the various

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members of the deceased's family were sculptured in relief, with their names on the seat. Groups of two or more figures, husband and wife, brother and sister, father, mother and child, were placed in tombs, and from the biographical notices inscribed upon them many valuable historical facts have been gleaned.

COFFINS.

Egyptian coffins are usually made of wood, but under the Ptolemies and Romans hard stone came into use.

The oldest coffin in the world is probably that of Mycerinus, a king of the IVth dynasty, about B.C. 3633, which is preserved in the British Museum, No. 6647; it was found, together with the remains of a wrecked mummy, by Colonel Howard Vyse in the third pyramid of Gizeh, and was presented by him to the British Museum in 1837. The stone sarcophagus of Mycerinus, of which only a very small fragment has been preserved (B.M. No. 6646), and parts of the coffin and mummy, were lost by the wreck of the ship in which they were being brought to England, on the Spanish coast, on the western side of the Strait of Gibraltar. The coffin, without paintings, had originally a human face, formed of several pieces of wood pegged together on to the cover, and the well-cut inscription in two perpendicular lines down the cover reads: “Osiris, King of the North and South, Men-kau-Ră, living for ever. Heaven has produced thee; thou wast conceived by Nut ; thou comest of the race of the god Seb. Thy mother Nut (the sky) spreads herself over thee in her form of heavenly mystery. She grants that thou shalt be a god ; never more shalt thou have enemies, O Men-kau-Ră, King of the North and South, living for ever.” On the cover, just over the knees of the mummy, are two raised projections resembling knees. It has been stated" that this coffin was made during the New Empire at the expense of some pious person who wished to keep fresh the memory of Mycerinus. Of the coffins of the VIth dynasty, the fragments of that belonging to Seker-em-sa-fo appear to be the only remains;

* See Aegyptische Zeitschrift, 1892, p. 94.
* Maspero, Guide du Visiteur au Musée de Boulay, p. 311.

but it is tolerably certain that coffins during the first six dynasties were made of plain wood, that they had a human face, and that the inscriptions were short and cut into the cover. Coffins during the XIth and XIIth dynasties are usually rectangular in form, with a cover consisting of one flat plank about 2% inches thick. Both coffin and cover are very rough, and the paintings consist of large stripes of blue, red, white, green, and yellow colours, interspersed with lotus flowers and pictures of funereal offerings, sometimes very rudely drawn. Many of the coffins of this period are, however, of the greatest interest, and B.M. 6654 and 6655 are good typical examples. The former is inscribed on the outside with one line of well-cut hieroglyphics, and is inlaid with ão: ; the inside of the coffin and both inside and outside of the cover are inscribed in hieratic with a number of chapters of the Book of the Dead of the period of the Ancient Empire; this coffin was made for an official called Amamu." The latter, made for Mentu-hetep, is of the same form, and is also inscribed in hieratic with chapters from the Book of the Dead.” At the same period, coffins with human faces were also made; they were formed of rough pieces of wood, badly put together, and are characterised by a rude, gaudy style of ornamentation. A striking contrast to these is the gilded wooden coffin of An-āntef, B.M. No. 6652, a king of the XIth dynasty, who ruled at Thebes about B.C. 2500. The hardwood face is beautifully carved, and is intended to be a portrait of the deceased ; the eyes and eyelids are made of black, white, and blue obsidian, inlaid; the feather work and star ornaments on the coffin appear to have originated at this period. The ordinary ornamentation of coffins at this period is a large collar, beneath which are figures of the uraeus and vulture, emblematic of dominion over the north and south, and under the feet are kneeling figures of Isis and Nephthys, who mourn the dead Osiris. The coffins of the period between the XIIth and the

* A facsimile of the text and an English translation were published by Birch, Coffin of Amamu, London, 1886.

* For facsimiles of other hieratic texts on coffins of the XIth dynasty, see I.epsius, Aesteste 7exte des Todtenbuchs, Berlin, 1867.

Coffins
about
B.C. 2500.

Ornamen-
tation of
early
coffins.

Coffins about about B.C. 17OO.

The finest coffins made about B.c I4OO.

XVIIIth dynasties are imitations of those with the gilded
featherwork and bright colours of the XIth and XIIth
dynasties; at this period many articles of furniture, vases,
etc., were placed in the mummy chamber, either near the
coffin or arranged by the walls.
During the XVIIIth dynasty coffins were made very
much larger, and were painted inside and outside in black;
the face is either gilded or coloured a bright red, the eyes
are often inlaid; on the breast is a vulture, and the inscrip-
tions, which divide the lower half of the cover into a series
of rectangular sections, are painted in yellow.
With the XIXth dynasty there appears a class of coffin
very beautiful to behold. Inside and outside both coffin and
cover are profusely decorated with scenes of all kinds, large
figures of gods and genii, vignettes from the Book of the
Dead with appropriate inscriptions, and a number of emblems
and decorations formed of rows of amulets, all painted in the
brightest colours, and covered with a bright, yellow, shining
varnish. Immediately over the mummy of a royal person,
or of a wealthy man, was laid a slightly convex covering of
wood, made in the form of a mummy, painted with the scenes
alluded to above, and varnished. On the inside of this
covering the boat of the sun, the mummy with plants growing
out from it, and other scenes were traced in yellow, on a
mauve or purple ground. The mummy and this covering
were placed in a coffin with a cover having a human face, and
the hands, in relief, were crossed upon the breast. The lower
part was ornamented with scenes in which the deceased is
represented adoring various gods in shrines; these scenes are
divided into two groups by one or more perpendicular lines
of inscription which record the name and titles of the
deceased. This coffin, with the mummy and its wooden
covering, was then placed inside a larger coffin, upon the
outside and inside of which were painted scenes similar to
those on the inner coffin, but with less attention to details.
The inside of the cover of the outer coffin was often left blank.
A very fine example of a set of two coffins, and the wooden
covering of the mummy, is that of Nesi-pa-ur-shefi, which
is described in detail in the “Catalogue of the Egyptian

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