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5 Famous Ancient Coffins You Should Know About

5 Famous Ancient Coffins You Should Know About

Key Insights

  • There are many famous ancient coffins that successful excavations have unearthed.
  • The sarcophagus of Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun is one of the most famous ancient coffins.
  • There are also famous ancient coffins from other parts of the world like Beirus, China, Indonesia and the Philippines.
  • If you want to carry on the time-honored tradition of using a coffin or a casket for a burial, Titan Casket has many contemporary and traditional options.

Coffins: An Unlikely Wonder Of The Ancient World

From bejeweled caskets to hanging coffins, the ancient civilizations who inhabited the planet centuries ago had fairly elaborate burial practices. Successful archeological expeditions have given us fascinating insights into how the ancient people buried their dead. What we have found over the past few decades include coffins and special burial chambers that have stood the test of time. 

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Let us take a little trip back in history and get to know some of the most famous ancient coffins for burial from different civilizations across the world. 

5 Famous Ancient Coffins From Centuries Ago

Over the years, archeologists and explorers have discovered hundreds of ancient coffins in different parts of the world. Here are 5 of the most famous and beautiful coffins from centuries ago. 

1. Tutankhamun’s Sarcophagus

One of the most famous ancient Egyptian coffins, Tutankhamun’s sarcophagus is as rich in the materials used as it is in the mystery surrounding it. A sarcophagus is a coffin made of stone, and it is typically decorated with ancient sculptures and inscriptions. The sarcophagus of the Egyptian pharaoh is an elaborate one that includes a set of three gold nested coffins. These three coffins were then contained within a solid granite sarcophagus, which, in turn, was protected by a set of four wooden shrines. In addition to this, the head of the pharaoh was decorated in a 24-pound gold mask, which is now displayed at Cairo’s Egyptian Museum. 

2. The Shrine Of Romulus

Legend has it that brothers Romulus and Remus were the founders of the ancient city of Rome. The Roman Forum revealed that researchers have chanced upon a shrine that may have been dedicated to Romulus. This shrine, which dates way back to the sixth century, is located in an underground chamber and has an empty sarcophagus that measures 55 inches in length. It is believed to be the sarcophagus of Romulus, since it even has an altar dedicated to the founder of the ancient city in the chamber. 

3. The Sarcophagus of King Ahiram

This ancient coffin is located in Beirut, which is where the ancient civilization of the Phoenicians once thrived. The Phoenicians had many similarities with the ancient Egyptian civilizations, particularly in their practices and beliefs. One such common practice was the use of elaborate coffins for burial. The sarcophagus of King Ahiram, which dates back to 1000 B.C., is proof of this similarity. This famous ancient coffin was discovered only in 1923, and it is now on display in the National Museum of Beirut. Along with this coffin, many other coffins of members of the royal families of the Phoenicians were also discovered in the 1900s. 

4. The Hanging Coffins of China, Philippines and Indonesia

Moving on to a different part of the world, we have the famous hanging coffins that have been discovered in various parts of present-day China, Philippines and Indonesia. In China, the most well-known hanging coffins or xuanguan were each carved entirely from a single piece of wood by the ancient Bo people, who are now extinct. These hanging ancient coffins were placed on cliffs, perhaps to keep them from being disturned. 

Hanging coffins were also a significant part of the funerary traditions of the Kankanaey people of the Philippines. These ancient coffins are typically small because the ancient people of the region buried the dead in the fetal position. Today, the hanging coffins of the Philippines have become tourist attractions in Echo Valley. 

The Toraja people of Indonesia also used boat-shaped hanging coffins for burying their dead. Known as liang tokek, these coffins were reserved for prominent people of their community like the founders of villages. Many of these coffins date back to 780 AD or so. 

5. Rectangular Coffins of the Egyptian Middle Kingdom

Many of the ancient coffins we have unearthed today come in distinct shapes, like the human-shaped ancient Egyptian coffins, the fetal coffins from the Philippines and the boat-shaped Indonesian coffins. However, the Egyptians also used rectangular coffins, which are very similar to the caskets we use today in the modern world. Excavations have revealed rectangular coffins in the Middle Kingdom of ancient Egypt. These coffins have texts, inscriptions and spells on the outside to honor the dead. 

Honoring The Timeless Tradition Of Burying Your Loved Ones

These ancient coffins dating back several hundred of years go on to show that the tradition of using coffins for the burial of your loved ones has stood the test of time. To this day, coffins and caskets are preferred for burial ceremonies. Caskets, much like coffins, help preserve and safely accommodate your loved ones. You can buy different kinds of caskets made from various materials like wood, cloth and other eco-friendly options from trusted online retailers like Titan Casket. 

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