A wooden casket decorated with six different gods was among those recently found in a cache of 52 rock tombs in Lahun, a site about 75 miles (120 kilometers) south of Cairo, Egyptian archaeologists announced.
Ancient Egyptians depicted gods on their coffins to protect them in the afterlife. The person in this coffin, who was likely buried 2,500 years ago during the 26th dynasty, worshiped an incarnation of the king of the gods, Amun-Ra, shown as a combination of a ram and a hawk with the sun on its head.
"We are in a funerary site, a cemetery, so it's very much connected to religious beliefs," said Abdul Rahman El-Aidy, who discovered and photographed the nearly 30 mummies at the site for Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA).
Although the depictions of gods on their coffins varied over time, even the earliest Egyptians used decorated caskets to protect the physical body and the ka--a person's life-force--during the afterlife.
via PHOTOS: Dozens of Mummies Found in Rock Tombs.
It is interesting to see so much of the personality of the actual person in a painted face from 2,500 years ago. Here is something funny. Notice that one face is of a much darker skinned person and that person has an extra sarcophagus for protection. The article indicates that this person was more important, but when explaining why the important person has a black face, we are told "The black soot over the body might be remnants of materials mixed for mummification, while the black paint on the face was associated with fertility and birth."
The pronouncements of Egyptologists mystify me at times. What is the evidence for this black face paint being associated with fertility and birth? What is the nature of that association? How about black paint on the face being associated with the person simply having darker skin??
A post on yahoo answers says Ancient Egypt"... wasn't a homogeneous society, you had people of black African decent (Nubian), people of Sumerian/Liberian descent (white) as well as people of Arab descent. In fact King Tut's mom Queen tiye was Nubian, and his father of Egyptian descent. So more than likely he would have had a darker skin tone than other Egyptians, yet they depict him as being of Caucasian descent."