Date of Award
Master of Arts
Egyptian Art and Archaeology
Lorelei H. Corcoran
Fred C. Albertson
The Greek zodiac became known to Egypt during the Graeco-Roman period and can be seen primarily in temples. This imagery is not limited to temples, however, and can be seen on five coffin lids from the Soter group along with related figures of Nut and Sothis. The function of the zodiac figures was to represent the passage of time. In this study, I will identify the Osirian and solar roles of the sky goddess Nut on the interior of coffins. I will then discuss the coffin lids as a form of archaizing of Middle Kingdom star charts on coffin lids and explain how figures of the zodiac replaced the Egyptian decans. Finally, I will analyze the relationship between Nut, the zodiac, and Sothis on the coffin lids and explain how, together, they represent the passage of time and bring about yearly renewal of the deceased on the five coffins in the Soter group.
dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.
Golden, Elizabeth Anne, "Nut, the Zodiac, and Sothis: An Iconographic Analysis of Five Coffin Lids from the Roman Period Soter Group" (2014). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 927.