Mummy Case Markings

The above is a composite of several different styles and eras.

After a body was embalmed and wrapped in linen bandages, the mummy was placed in a case or coffin. Cases of the rich were often carefully carved to be body-shaped, and were lavishly and colorfully decorated. Egyptian mummy cases were painted in many different styles over the centuries. Most styles included a idealized representation of the mummy's face, often just painted on, but sometimes carved into the coffin. Other popular decorations included pictures of the Egyptian gods. Often winged beings were painted onto the case with the wings wrapping around the sides of the coffin as a symbol of protection.

The ancient Egyptians believed that beneath the surface of the earth was a place they called Duat. This was the kingdom of Osiris who ruled the underworld. The underworld was full of dangers, including poisonous snakes and lakes of fire. The dead person's Ka, or spirit, would have to travel though the underworld to the Hall of Two Truths. During Egypt's Middle Kingdom period, mummy cases were even painted with maps of the underworld designed to help the Ka to navigate the dangers there. Across the outside of the coffin were sometimes inscribed various magical formulas written in hieroglyphics that the dead could recite to ward off trouble. According to Egyptian beliefs, when the Ka reached the Hall of Two Truths, the dead person's heart would be weighed against their past deeds. If the dead person was found to be worthy, the god of wisdom, Thoth, would lead him to his reward. Those failing the test would have their hearts fed to a goddess called the "Devourer of the Dead."

Some of the more well-known Egyptian Gods.

Egyptian Gods:

Amon - The creator god.

Anubis - God of mummification.

Isis - Mistress of Magic. Also the wife of Osiris and mother of Horus.

Osiris - God of farming and ruler of the underworld.

Horus - The sky god. Son of Osiris and Isis.

Set - God of disorder. An enemy of Horus.

Sobek - The crocodile god.

Ra - The sun god.




Copyright Lee Krystek 2001. All Rights Reserved.


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