10 Facts about Egyptian Sarcophagus

Sunday, May 6th 2018. | History

One of way to learn about the history of Egypt is by learning the Egyptian sarcophagus. Sarcophagus becomes the ancient historical item left. Let’s learn about Egyptian sarcophagus through its interesting facts.

Fact 1: Used as a House of Coffin or Mummy

The main function of Sarcophagus in ancient Egypt era is to place a mummy or a coffin. Mostly, you will se an ornament and it is handcrafted. The face crafted on the sarcophagus is different and it is the face of the mummy. Sarcophagus is made of stone and it is not sunk underground.

Fact 2: Sarcophagus as the Symbol

Ancient Egyptians believe that there is life after death or rebirth. That’s why, they don’t sunk the coffin underground and let it inside a pyramid. Sarcophagus is used as a funeral receptacle for the death body and wait until the death person rebirth. This is also the reason why Sarcophagus is designed along with doors and windows.

Stone sarcophagus of Pharaoh Merenptah

Stone sarcophagus of Pharaoh Merenptah

Fact 3 : The First Sarcophagus

The first stone coffin or sarcophagus was found in the 3rd dynasty. The function is the same and it becomes a palace for the death body. The design might show the strata of the mummy. The design is above the ground and freestanding.

You should consider to read : 10 Facts About Egyptian Afterlife

Fact 4: Special Funeral Ceremony

A mummy needs to follow special funeral ceremony before placed in a sarcophagus. The first ceremonial is praying and consecration for the death body. Then, the process continued with mummification of the body. When everything is done, the mummy will be placed in a sarcophagus which has gold and gem decoration.

funeral procession in the Book of the Dead

funeral procession in the Book of the Dead

Fact 5: People Prepare Their Own Sarcophagus

Ancient Egyptian knows that they will rebirth after death so they want to sleep in the most comfortable place. That’s why they will choose and buy their favorite sarcophagus, a coffin, and the mummy board. This culture was very popular and done by most all wealthy Egyptians in the New Kingdom era.

Fact 6: Each Area Has Different Sarcophagus Style

It seems the style is similar but it doesn’t. The style of the sarcophagus depends on the living place of the people. Some of areas such as Asyut, Akhmin, and Thebes tend to use human figures to decorate their sarcophagus. The material is also different and it shows the strata of the people. The more beautiful the sarcophagus it means the person is wealthy or the member of royal family.

Sarcophagus design

Sarcophagus design

Fact 7: Common Materials

There are several popular materials used to create sarcophagus. For wealthy or royal family members, the materials are expensive and luxury including gold, silver, and many more as the representation that they are rich. On the other hand, common people will make a sarcophagus with pottery or reeds.

You may be interested in : 10 Facts About Ancient Egypt Mummies

Fact 8: Great Sarcophagus of King Tut’s

The greatest sarcophagus was the sarcophagus of King Tut’s. It made of yellow quartzite along with three gold coffins connected each other. There is the mummy of the Pharaoh namely Tutankhamun inside the sarcophagus. Ramses II also have large sarcophagus which cover more than 820 square meters.

The gilded bier of  king Tut Sarcophagus

The gilded bier of king Tut Sarcophagus

Fact 9: The Sarcophagus of Ramses

The interesting fact about the sarcophagus of Ramses is on its decoration. You will see a carved scene and hieroglyphics. The decoration is not an ordinary ornament but it is a spell taken from a book entitled the Book of Gates. There was also specific book for funeral which sometimes taken as the ornament of sarcophagus.

Fact 10: The Text Found on the Sarcophagus

The text found on the sarcophagus is the text taken for specific books. Those books are including the Book of Gates or the Book of the Death. The text was carved but some of the person wants to bring it inside the sarcophagus or close at hand.

The Book of the Dead

The Book of the Dead

Those facts about Egyptian sarcophagus will surely give you more knowledge about Egyptian history. You can also learn more facts about history on this site.