The American Research Center in Eygpt

LECTURE: Musical Coffins: the Reuse of Elite Coffins in the 21st Dynasty Theban Necropolis

LECTURE: Musical Coffins: the Reuse of Elite Coffins in the 21st Dynasty Theban Necropolis

LECTURE: Musical Coffins: the Reuse of Elite Coffins in the 21st Dynasty Theban Necropolis

Date: Saturday, January 12, 2013, 1:30 p.m.Kara Cooney Examines Egyptian Coffin

Presenter: Dr. Kara Cooney, Assistant Professor, UCLA - Department of Near Eastern Languages and Culture, UCLA

Chapter: Orange County, California

Location: Bowers Museum, Norma Kershaw Auditorium, 2002 N. Main, Santa Ana, California

This lecture is free and open to the public.

Description:Elite men and women of the Twenty-First Dynasty, wishing to be buried in formal, and high status style, often usurped the coffins of people buried in earlier dynasties, turning out their former inhabitants, and altering, repainting, and re-styling the coffins in a distinctive 21st dynasty style.

Dr. Cooney has studied coffins in many collections around the world, most recently in Italy in 2012, and found a re-use rate as high as 70%, with some coffins seeming to have multiple owners. Was there such a thing as a community coffin? There was something of a recession at that time, and imported wood to make new coffins priced these commodities out of reach of your average temple chantress. Craftsmen begin specializing in renovating – and recommodifying - this essential possession for a happy after life. The topic and the speaker promise a lively session on keeping up appearances at the Ancient Egyptian mortuary and cemetery.

About the Speaker: Dr. Kara Cooney is an Associate Professor of Egyptian Art and Architecture at UCLA. She earned her Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from Johns Hopkins University in 2002. She has been part of archaeological work in Egypt at the craftsmen's village of Deir el Medina, the royal temple site of Dahshur and various elite Theban tombs. She is published under the name Kathlyn M. Cooney.

Kara has also taught at Stanford and Howard Universities. In 2005, she was co-curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for "Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs." In 2002, she was Kress fellow at the National Gallery of Art, where she was involved with the installation of the Cairo Museum exhibition "Quest for Immortality: Treasures of Ancient Egypt."

A native of Houston, Kara received her B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. Her first book, "The Cost of Death: The Social and Economic Value of Ancient Egyptian Funerary Art in the Ramesside Period" was published in 2007. She is working on her next two books, one about Hatshepsut and another about coffin reuse and burial practices in the 21st Dynasty.

Kara created a comparative archaeology series entitled "Out of Egypt", produced with her husband, writer/producer Neil Crawford. It aired on the Discovery Channel in 2009 and 2010. The series is still shown on Planet Green, and all six episodes are on Netflix streaming.

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