Sponsored by: ARCE-PA, UPenn Museum Anthro Classroom 345
The Amarna period has long been a black hole in the typology of New Kingdom private coffins. Given Akhenaten’s religious revolution, one would expect that a new decorative program for private coffins would have been developed. Until now, no such coffins have been identified with certainty or have been available for study. However, recent excavations in the South Tombs Cemetery at Tell el-Amarna have changed this situation. Twenty-one decorated coffins have been found. These coffins demonstrate both an unexpected variety in coffin decoration during the reign of Akhenaten, and a development towards a new ‘atenist ‘ type of coffin decoration, which is devoid of references to the traditional Osirian afterlife.
Dr. Anders Bettum has a PhD in comparative religion from the University of Oslo, and he specializes on religious symbolism of coffin ensembles from Ramesside Egypt. He works as senior curator at the Oslo Museum, and is the director of the Amarna Coffin Project.