During the Ramesside empire in Palestine, ceramic anthropoid coffin burials appear in Canaan near several Egyptian forts. Dubbed "slipper coffins" by Petrie, these coffins generally reflected Egyptian burial practices by imitating styles found in wood coffins or stone sarcophagi. Initially just used by officers and troops of the Ramesside garrisons, such coffins were generally wheelmade as large cylindrical pots as a single piece with an opening at the head to allow the insertion of the body. The opening was then covered by a faceplate lid, on which human features were roughly modeled by hand in either a "naturalistic" or "grotesque" style. These lids, of which this is an example, display clear affinities with Egyptian anthropoid coffins, with a nemes headdress, an Osiris bead, lotus on the forehead and arms crossed on the chest. In contrast, Canaanite coffins have their own distinct forms, such as the Philistine/Peleset headdress, suggesting a local hybrid form derived from Egypt. All were placed in deep pits with moderately to valuable contents.
Condition: Professionally rejoined, complete and in very good condition overall. With museum quality custom mount (shown).
Dimensions: Height: Maximum: 17 x 13 1/2 in. (43.2 x 34.3 cm)
Provenance: Private NY collection, acquired Bonhams London, 1998 thereafter on loan to the Michael C. Carlos museum, Emory University 1998 - 2015, loan number: L1998.090.004. See: https://www.flickr.com/photos/101561334@N08/10450348206/in/album-72157636887554863/