The wall paintings of several Theban tombs represent foreigners who present gifts that are sometimes typically Cretan or Aegean. Other foreigners, although labeled Princes of Keftiu (Crete), are represented as Asiatics. The aim of the present volume is to analyze these wall paintings in order to distinguish the Aegeans and their gifts. The author manages to establish their characteristics in nine Theban tombs, divides chronologically in two groups, and shows that the related figures reflect actual Aegeo-Egyptian relations in the time of the XVIIIth dynasty, down to c. 1470/1450 BC. This result is obtained by a careful comparison of represented gifts with undoubtedly Minoan objects and documents from the Aegean, especially Crete.
The coffin published in this book represents a type that had some popularity in southern Upper Egypt in the early Middle Kingdom, but which, despite its extraordinary decoration had not attracted attention so far. The most striking feature of the decoration is that the object friezes - the pictorial rendering of ritual implements usually found on coffin interiors of the period - also include complete ritual scenes, some of which are attested only here. Apart from this, the decoration includes an extensive selection of the religious texts know as the Coffin Texts. The author first studies the archaeological context and dating of the coffin and attempts a reconstruction of the construction procedures from his technical description of the monument. The detailed account of the decoration in the rest of the book interprets the ritual iconography and offers fresh translations and interpretations of the Coffin Texts. A methodological innovation is that he regards the scenes and texts not as individual decoration elements, but as components of an integral composition. The background of this composition is argued to be a view of life in the hereafter in which the deceased is involved in an unending cycle of ritual action which reflects the funerary rituals that were actually performed on earth. On the one hand, these netherworldly rituals aim at bringing the deceased to new life by mummification, on the other the newly regenerated deceased partakes in embalming rituals for gods representing his dead father (Osiris or Atum). These gods, in their turn, effectuate the deceased's regeneration. The entire process results in a cycle of resuscitation in which the afterlife of the deceased and of the 'father gods' are interdependent. The sociological bias of this interpretation, with its emphasis on kinship relations, differs significantly from earlier attempts to explain Egyptian funerary religion.