Issue 4, 2017

S. V. Ivanov

Greco-Roman coffins from Deir el-Banat (Fayoum)

Since 2003 the Centre for Egyptological Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (CES RAS) has been carrying out archaeological excavations at Deir el-Banat (Fayoum). The subject of this paper is Greco-Roman coffins discovered in the course of the work. Most of these coffins are of anthropomorphic shape. Such caskets have two parts — a flat bottom and a relatively high cover. Normally they are made of roughly fitted wooden planks and covered with a substance consisting of sand and a bounding agent. The coffins have no additional elements attached, except of masks that were made separately and added to the head part of their covers. Approximately a half of these coffins are undecorated, while the other half are painted from outside.
Coffins of rectangular shape were less popular. These ones were made of wood and, more frequently, of reed. Besides, there are instances of burials in pottery coffins.

Fayoum, Deir el-Banat, coffin, sarcophagus, Greco-Roman period, burial customs.

Original language — English.

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