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dma report - Part I Mummy and Cartonnage 19th Dynasty or...

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Part I: Mummy and Cartonnage 19 th Dynasty or later Wood and Polychrome The ancient Egyptian coffins were neither intended to be art pieces nor the makers wanted to create a piece that would represent their thoughts and opinions. However, the coffins were made with a belief in life after death. The importance of the person, in most cases a Pharaoh, was the only reason to add magnificent decorations and elaborations to the design of a coffin. The coffin belongs to a period of ancient Egypt called “New Kingdom”, historically between the 16th century BCE and the 11th century BCE (18 th , 19 th , and 20 th dynasties of Egypt). At the top of the coffin, there is a painted portrait of the Pharaoh’s face with his or her make up and jewelries like the time when he or she was alive, for future identification purposes. Vertical lines and stripes were drawn from below the face all the way down to the bottom part of the casket. The vertical lines and stripes add height to the coffin and illustrate the path to the upper level of life, or life after death. Two major colors of the Mummy and Cartonnage are carmine and deep yellow, which were both icons of Egyptian royalty. Because Pharaohs considered themselves God, these two colors also represented divine and metaphysical powers. Even today in some cultures these two colors, carmine and deep yellow, represent religion and faith, as seen in Buddhist monks’ robes. Two secondary colors in this coffin are green and black, which were known as the colors of life and death. By drawing black symbols on the green stripes, the designer demonstrated the connection between life and death. The coffin was then glazed with a chemical substance called
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Polychrome to make the casket more sleek and noticeable. Glazing also protected the paintings
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