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Every part of the coffin was decorated, as this foot board shows. The bull was a common element in Egyptian mythology and was identified with the Pharaoh.

The practice of mummifying Apis bulls survived into the Roman occupation of Egypt, but was stopped when the Roman Emperors converted to Christianity and closed 'pagan' temples.

These photographs show sections of some of the coffins in the NMS collection. These examples show very well the stylized representation of the dead person on the outer surfaces.

Anthropoid, or person shaped, coffins were particularly important to the Ancient Egyptians as they were believed to act as a substitute body for use after death. This is why the dead person as being young and powerful to ensure them health in the afterlife. Supplies and tools for use in the afterworld were often included in the decoration as well which would magically become usable.

All objects photographed here are from the collection of the National Museums of Scotland.
Thanks to the N.M.S. Department of History and Applied Art for information concerning the objects.

Coffin Baseboard Details Anthropoid Coffins Gods And Goddesses Birds And Feathers