Beyond the Visible, Merging scientific analysis and Traditional methods for the documentation of the anthropoid coffin of Amenemhât

Citation:
El Hadidi, N. M. N., S. Darwish, M. Ragab, and A. E. R. M. Abd El Razek, S., "Beyond the Visible, Merging scientific analysis and Traditional methods for the documentation of the anthropoid coffin of Amenemhât", Ancient Egyptian Coffins Past • Present • Future, Cambridge, Oxbow Books, 2019.

Abstract:

This study focuses on one of the early examples of using the human shape in the third inner coffin. An ancient Egyptian anthropoid wooden coffin belonging to the Egyptian prince Amenemhât from the Middle Kingdom, Twelfth Dynasty - was found in Deir El Bersha, Egypt in separate parts (Kamal 1902, 14) in 1900 and was reconstructed sometime after it was transferred to the Museum in 1916.
The aim of this study is to document the structure and materials used in making the coffin. Preliminary investigations confirm that the anthropoid coffin of Amenemhât was made of sidr wood (Ziziphus sp.), the use of which has been documented only infrequently in complete wooden coffins.
The feasibility, effectiveness, and overall value of portable X-radiography were proven during the study of the coffin. It helped identify both the structure and the previous incompatible conservation, in which a large number of screws and nails had been used to reconnect the wooden elements. The detached wooden parts that had been joined together were covered with a paste to hide the previous restoration. On the left side of the head animal glue and calcium carbonate (CaCO3) were identified using XRD and FTIR spectroscopy.
Digital photography and ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) imaging were used in the documentation of the wooden coffin.
Samples were studied under both optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to obtain a more detailed observation of the condition and physical characteristics of the wood.

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