Title of work of art: Coffin of Horankh
Description: A coffin. It is normally two pieces, a top and bottom, but it is now contrived to look like one cohesive piece. The coffin has a realistic face that is uniquely colored green with a beard that is plaited (braided) and turns upward. These attributes are done in homage to Osiris – who is said to be the Lord of the Underworld and the god of resurrection. The head of the coffin has been adorned with a traditionally worn Egyptian nemes headdress and a traditional collar necklace trimmed in tear drops is placed around the neck area. The bodily outlines are subtle, but in close examination, you can see the meticulous efforts added by the sculptor. This coffin is lucid, but uses line in remarkable patterns for detail. The base of the coffin has a prayer to Osiris along with the name of the deceased inscribed. This artifact represents Horankh’s coffin for his bodily remains.
Medium/ how was it made: This anthropoid coffin, shaped to mimic a mummified person, is made of irregular wood plank pieces and filled with mud in the gapped spaces. It has been finished to have the appearance of linen shroud. Linen shroud is the material Egyptians used to mummify bodily remains. The coffin has “brilliant eyes of calcite and obsidian shine.” (Odyssey) Bronze and paint are also mediums used to construct this coffin.
Condition: Cracks, discoloring, and wear are undoubtedly noticeable. Yet, the coffin is nice and clean and looks to be kept in very pristine condition. The colors vary in shade and various layers of the coffin are now exposed, especially at the base where you can see splintered pieces of wood, along with...
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...resent location: This artifact is currently housed in the Dallas Museum of Art in Dallas, TX. It is in the Classical Art department and is a part of the Arts of Ancient Egypt collection, on level 3.
Summary: The Coffin of Horankh, is one of many art pieces, that helps us to understand how Egyptians valued life, but even more, how strongly they valued the ka – the life force that remained habitable in the body for the afterlife. This artifact reveals to us the end results of the in-depth process the Egyptians coined, in mummifying bodies. We see the importance, for them, in encasing the mummified bodies for tomb burials for their next life; just as we learned in our lectures of Egyptian Art. Through this artifact we also obtain imagery of Osiris – Lord of the Underworld and gained an understanding of his importance to them as the god of resurrection.
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