Coffin Texts

The History of Egypt for Kids - Coffin Texts

The Civilization, Culture & History of Ancient Egypt and facts about the Coffin Texts

Ancient Egyptians - Coffin Texts
A comprehensive guide and fact sheet about the Coffin Texts. Discover fascinating facts and information about ancient Egypt and Coffin Texts.

The forerunner to the Book of the Dead

Text and images were inscribed on the insides of wooden coffins

The information on the coffins included funerary spells and maps

The differences between the Pyramid and coffin texts

The purpose and the people who used them

How they evolved into the Book of the Dead

The ancient Egyptian spells

An overview of the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead

Ancient Egyptians - Coffin Texts
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Coffin Texts
The ancient Coffin Texts were created during the period of the Middle Kingdom (2134 - 1782 BC) and, together with the Pyramid texts of the
Old Kingdom(2686 to 2181 B.C), evolved into the Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Coffin Texts - Background Information
Ordinary people in the Old Kingdom left few monuments but during the chaotic times of the First Intermediate period this all changed. Ordinary ancient Egyptians started to create their own small funerary monuments in memory of the dead. This practise were no longer seen as the exclusive right of the king. These, simple funerary monuments took the form of rectangular tombstones or stele. These were sometimes carved with a funerary prayer, a portrait of the owner and occasionally a short autobiographical statement of the deceased. The Coffin texts would follow.

Ancient Egypt - Coffin Texts Fact Sheet

Fact 1 on Coffin Texts: The Coffin Texts emerged during the period known as the Middle Kingdom (2055 to 1650 B.C.) and superseded the royal Pyramid Texts of the Old Kingdom (2686 to 2181 B.C)

Fact 2 on Coffin Texts: The Coffin Texts were magical funerary spells written upon coffins of the Middle Kingdom.

Fact 3 on Coffin Texts: The Coffin Texts eliminated the royal exclusivity of the Pyramid Texts.

Fact 4 on Coffin Texts: The ancient Egyptian people believed that the sacred text would provide them with the magical knowledge and magic spells to overcome obstacles presented in the terrifying journey through the underworld.

Fact 5 on Coffin Texts: The royal Pyramid texts were inscribed onto the limestone walls, in vertical columns, in Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic script. They had no illustrations or images.

Fact 6 on Coffin Texts: The Coffin Texts were a Guide to the Afterlife for the common Egyptian.

Fact 7 on Coffin Texts: Some of the text was taken from the writings on the Pyramids and this was supplemented by new text or magic spells. The new spells, totalling over 1000, are known as the Coffin Texts.

Fact 8 on Coffin Texts: The new text, or magic spells, were sometimes accompanied by images, called "vignettes", that can be seen on the pictures of the wooden coffins, there were no such images on the pyramid texts.

Fact 9 on Coffin Texts: The text on the coffins were written in the simpler hieratic script, whereas the text on the pyramids were written in the, more complex, hieroglyphics. Hieratic script was used for everyday purposes such as keeping records, accounts and writing letters.

Fact 10 on Coffin Texts: The coffin text also contained maps of the underworld. The ancient Egyptians called the new text  "The Book of the Two Ways".

Ancient Egypt - Coffin Texts Fact Sheet

Coffin Texts
Discover fast, interesting fun facts about the Coffin Texts for kids with some amazing, and quick information about ancient Egypt and Egyptians. Ideal for children, homework, schools, teachers and kids of all ages. Find fascinating facts about the Coffin Texts for kids and the history, culture and civilisation of the ancient Egyptians and ancient Egypt. Interesting, fun facts about the Coffin Texts for research, schools, students and kids.

Coffin Texts
Learn about the Coffin Texts the fast and easy way via the Coffin Texts Fact sheet.

Ancient Egypt - Coffin Texts Fact Sheet

Fact 11 on Coffin Texts: The new text,  "The Book of the Two Ways", was a guide to navigating the dangers of the Underworld in order to gain access to the Field of Reeds (paradise) so new additions were made to the text to explain how to navigate the dangers encountered on the perilous journey.

Fact 12 on Coffin Texts: The theme of the earlier pyramid texts was purely focussed on the protection reanimation and resurrection of the divine pharaoh. The ancient Egyptian priests, who created the new text and spells, no doubt reasoned that mere mortals would require additional help.

Fact 13 on Coffin Texts: The Coffin text therefore provided a map, directions through the Underworld (Duat), the strange places and dangerous encounters they could expect and the correct words required to safely pass the obstacles of the Underworld.

Fact 14 on Coffin Texts: Many protective and transformation spells were included in the text for the protection of the soul together with spells to help when faced with the great serpent, Apophis or Apep, the arch enemy of Ra. The protective spells could be further enhanced by the use of magic charms, or amulets, like the scarab, that had additional text and spells inscribed on them.

Fact 15 on Coffin Texts: The text also provided an additional guide to the judgement of the soul and the importance of the role of Osiris was greatly enhanced. The magic continued with the process and spells required in the Hall of Judgement.  

Fact 16 on Coffin Texts: The text continued with reunion spells to enable the dead souls to re-unite with their loved ones in the Afterlife.

Fact 17 on Coffin Texts: Over 1000 new spells were added. The spells were fully personalized and which always referred to the deceased in the first person singular.

Fact 18 on Coffin Texts: The text was initially used by the wealthy Egyptians, the Nomarchs and high ranking government officials. Other spells were used to activate ushabti figures (aka shabti) so that they could perform the various labor related duties in the afterlife.

Fact 19 on Coffin Texts: Coffin texts were particularly prevalent in Hermopolis but spread throughout both Upper and Lower Egypt.

Fact 20 on Coffin Texts: As time passed ordinary Egyptians, who also wanted help to get them through the Underworld and successfully reach the House of Reeds, used papyrus, tomb walls, masks, and amulets to inscribe the magical spells.

Ancient Egypt - Coffin Texts Fact Sheet

Coffin Texts

Coffin Texts
Learn about the ancient Egyptians the fast and easy way via the following Fact sheet.

Ancient Egypt - Coffin Texts Fact Sheet

Fact 21: The most important text and spells were inscribed in red. Small images also provided, albeit with great caution, as memory joggers.

Fact 22: As the vast number of additional spells were created and added to the text the Guide to the Afterlife became confusing and disorganised. The Book of the Dead was then created to provide a more coherent plan and guide.

Fact 23: The emergence of the Coffin Texts was extremely important as it allowed non-royals to have direct spiritual access to the Duat, the world of magic and of the dead.

Fact 24: The religion of ancient Egypt therefore undertook a significant change and focussed most of the religion of ancient Egypt on funerary and mortuary religious beliefs.

Fact 25: The role of the Coffin texts was highly significant and offered everyone a highly elaborate, imaginative view of life after death with instructions and spells that provided the hope and promise that all worthy Egyptians could attain a perfect existence in the Afterlife.

Fact 26: These ideas also had a significant effect on the economy, the ancient Egyptian government and the standing of the priests.

Fact 27: The ancient Egyptian temples were not just places of worship. The temple complexes also housed treasuries, offices, schools and palaces. The temple complexes were also centres of government, economy and commerce.

Fact 28: The Coffin texts which eventually emerged as the Book of the Dead became big business. The process of inscribing wooden coffins was time consuming and therefore expensive. Using personalized papyrus rolls was far more effective.

Fact 29: Cheaper, Off the peg, guides were created with blank spaces so that the name of a deceased could be entered as required. And the sale of amulets, complete with required spells and inscriptions, increased both the coffers of the temples and the coffers of Egypt.

Fact 30: The refined Book of the Dead was clearly the next step and other books would later be produced in the New KingdomBooks of the Netherworld including the Book of Gates, Book of Caverns and the Amduat.

Ancient Egypt - Coffin Texts Fact Sheet

Coffin Texts
Learning about the ancient Egyptians inspires everyone to visit historical sites and undertake Egypt Travel and Tours to experience the wonders of this magical land at first hand. Many people choose to experience a tour of Egypt on a Nile Cruise stopping at the famous destinations and sites of Egypt such as the Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx. The information and facts detailed in this article will provide you with a great insight into Egypt and the legacy of the ancient Egyptians.

Coffin Texts

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