Sunday, July 15, 2012

Burial Customs in Ancient Egypt

Burial Customs in Ancient Egypt, by Wolfram Grajetzki, is a really good overview of Ancient Egyptian funerary customs from the Pre-dynastic Period through to the Roman era.

The author has taken one or more archaeological excavations from each period of Egyptian history and described the coffins, sarcophagi and other objects found in them in detail. Then the author points out how the material in these excavations is similar to or different from other burials of the time. Among the topics covered are:

  • Old Kingdom burials in the Giza mastabas
  • Regional differences in the burials of the First Intermediate Period
  • The Middle Kingdom tombs found at Dier el-Bersheh
  • The tomb of King Awibre Hor (Dynasty Thirteen)
  • Burials at Tell el-Daba (the Hyksos Period)
  • Tomb architecture and coffin development in Thebes during the New Kingdom
  • The royal burials at Tanis 

The book's emphasis is on the burials of the nobility and the commoners, and does not spend as much time on royal burials as other books on this topic do. The result is a succinct and very informative view of how funeral customs changed over time in Egypt.

The book is a slim volume (only 161 pages) and is a bit pricy for its size, but is loaded with fascinating information and I have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone interested in this topic.

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