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Egyptian-Philistine Terracotta Anthropomorphic Coffin Lid, Circa 1300-1200 BC

Conservation:  Repaired
Material:  Terracotta
Dimensions:  49 cm
Provenance:  Archaeological Gallery, Israel, 2006. Export authorization from the Israel Antiquities Authority No. 2776 with date 02/04/2006
Documents:  Attached thermoluminiscence test (TL)


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Throughout the Bronze Age, Egyptian culture greatly influenced the peoples of ancient Palestine, including the Philistines. Among the many customs borrowed from Egypt was the tradition of burying deceased individuals of high rank in coffins modelled on the human form. This anthropomorphic mask is made of terracotta covered with a thick layer of sand mortar and is oval in shape to fit the body and sarcophagus of the deceased. His face, in eternal repose, in a half-relief, contains his ears parallel to the mask, the better to hear the requests for offerings on his behalf.

Similar items

The British Museum keeps very similar pieces, both stylistically:

Fig. 1 Lid from a Philistine terracotta coffin. Applied facial-detail and arms. 20th Dynasty, 1400-1150 BCE. From Tell Nabasha, Nile Delta, modern-day Egypt. (The British Museum, London) Nº EA22373

Fig. 2 Anthropoid pottery lid of a slipper coffin. Philistine. Late Bronze Age. From Tomb 0570 at Lachish, modern-day Israel. (The British Museum, London) Nº 160212

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