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Ancient Egypt
1. Introduction
2. People
3. Life styles
4. Culture
5. Education and Science
6. Society
7. Economy
8. Government
9. Cities and Villages
10. Language
11. Religion
12. Kings / periods
13. History
14. Map

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Open map of Ancient EgyptAncient Egypt / Religion /
Coffin Texts

Detailed articleBook of the Dead
Detailed articlePyramid Texts
Detailed articleCoffin Texts

In Ancient Egypt, religious texts inscribed on sarcophagi emerging in the First Intermediate Period as a direct continuation of the Pyramid Texts in the Old Kingdom. Coffin texts reached its highest level of popularity in the Middle Kingdom.
These texts are a continuation of the Pyramid Texts, but there are additions.
While the Pyramid Texts were used only for royals, the Coffin Texts were also used for notables too.
The texts are defined as spells, there were several in each sarcophagus. Many spells were used often, and in total the collection of spells count almost 1,200.
Central to these texts is the focus on an afterlife in the underworld, a place ruled by Osiris. The texts tell about dangers and terrible creatures that challenge the deceased. The texts intend to protect against these. There is also the need to protect against hard manual labour, which was a great fear for many.
There are important theological differences from the Pyramid Texts to the Coffin Texts. The Coffin Texts tell that all will be judged by Osiris. All are measured for their deeds by a weight.
The Coffin Texts contain several descriptions fo the land of the dead, its landscape and inhabitants.
These texts are, despite the name, not confined to coffins alone, and are also found on tomb walls, papyrus and figures.

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By Tore Kjeilen