About Sarcophagus

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A sarcophagus fragment discovered beneath the floor of a religious center belongs to Ramesses II, one of the best-known ancient Egyptian pharaohs, according to a new study.

About Sarcophagus:

  • A sarcophagus is a highly decorated coffin or box-like container that holds a coffin.
  • They were intended to be displayed above ground, but they were sometimes entombed or placed in burial chambers.
  • Sarcophagi were used to hold and protect important people who died throughout history, dating as far back as ancient Egypt, Rome, and Greece. 
  • The word sarcophagus comes from the Greek "sarx" meaning "flesh," and "phagien" meaning "to eat," so that sarcophagus literally translates as "eater of flesh."
  • First used in Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece, the sarcophagus gradually became popular throughout the ancient world. 
  • It carried over through the later years of European society, often used for high status members of the clergy, government, or aristocracy.
  • Features:
    • They differ in detail from one culture to another. 
    • They are almost always made of stone, limestone being the most popular, but sometimes of granite, sandstone, or marble.
    • Sarcophagi were elaborately decorated with carvings, images, and writing, usually including the name of the person who died.
  • Archaeological Significance:
    • Sarcophagi are important artifacts for archaeologists and historians because they provide insights into the art, culture, and beliefs of the societies that created them.
    • The carvings and inscriptions on sarcophagi often contain valuable historical information.
  • Example: The most famous Egyptian sarcophagus is perhaps the golden sarcophagus of King Tutankhamun.

Q1: Who was King Tutankhamun?

Tutankhamun (flourished 14th century BCE) was a king of ancient Egypt (reigned c. 1333–24 BCE), known chiefly for his intact tomb, KV 62 (tomb 62), discovered in the Valley of the Kings in 1922. During his reign, powerful advisers restored the traditional Egyptian religion and art, both of which had been set aside by his predecessor Akhenaten, who had led the “Amarna revolution.

Source: Ramesses II's sarcophagus finally identified thanks to overlooked hieroglyphics