Death on the Nile

USD $70.00



ISBN: 978-1-907804-71-7

256 Pages

286 x 226 mm (8 ⅞ x 11 ¼ in)

200 colour illustrations

In association with the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK

March 2016


Brings to life the fascinating world of ancient Egyptian burial customs and practices

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Examining objects from the Fitzwilliam Museum’s world-renowned collection, this fascinating and beautifully illustrated volume deepens our understanding of the lives and concerns of ancient Egyptians as they prepared themselves for death and burial, and will be a major contribution to the global study of these ancient artefacts

Four essays by leading academics investigate every aspect of the Fitzwilliam’s impressive collection of coffins, and shed new light on their production in the workshops of ancient Egypt. In addition to studying the decorative motifs and inscriptions, research scientists and conservators have used modern imaging and analytical techniques, such as CAT scans, to investigate the construction of these objects. There are surprising and touching discoveries, such as the fingerprints left behind by people moving a coffin lid before the varnish had dried, or the artist who painted over a carved hieroglyph after a disagreement. These details give a human face to these remarkable works of art.

The catalogue section examines and displays over fifty objects from the Museum’s and other collections, including coffins, and associated grave goods such as statues, models and jewellery,  accompanied by a narrative commentary that places them in their historical and cultural context. The book also includes an illustrated glossary, map, timeline of dates and an index.

Author biographies

Helen Strudwick is associate curator (Egyptian Antiquities) at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Julie Dawson is head of conservation at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Wolfram Grajetzki has participated in excavations in Egypt and Pakistan and has taught Egyptology at Humboldt University, Berlin. He has written several volumes in the Duckworth Egyptology Series

John H. Taylor is assistant keeper, Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan, British Museum, London. He is the author of Ancient Lives New Discoveries: Eight Mummies, Eight Stories (2014)

Table of Contents

  1. Director’s Foreword by Tim Knox
  2. Curators’ Acknowledgements by Julie Dawson and Helen Strudwick
  3. Egyptian Coffins at the Fitzwilliam Museum: The Formation of the Collection by Helen Strudwick
  4. Coffins of the Middle Kingdom: Their Origins and Development  byWolfram Grajetzki
  5. Coffins from the New Kingdom to the Roman Period by John H. Taylor
  6. Egyptian Coffins: Materials, Construction and Decoration by Julie Dawson, Jennifer Marchant and Eleanor
    von Aderkas with contributions from Caroline R. Cartwright and Rebecca Stacey
  7. Catalogue by Helen Strudwick and Julie Dawson
    Early burial practices
    Funerary gods and beliefs
    Late Old Kingdom to early Middle Kingdom
    The dead become Osiris
    Decorated anthropoid coffins
    Economic and political influences
    Objects buried with Nakhtefmut
    Objects found on Nakhtefmut’s body
    Later nested coffins
    Later coffins
  8. Glossary
  9. Picture Credits
  10. Map and Dates
  11. Index