Academic thesis

Jens Klocke: Polychromed coffin lid of a man named Bak from Abusir, Egypt, about 600 BC., from the Museum für Völkerkunde Hamburg, Inv. Nr. C3712. Technological examination and treatment concept for conservation. Back
Language: Original   -   Translation
Abstract: In addition to results of practical value for conservation, the elaborate examination, carried out on the coffin lid, revealed a number of interesting details about ancient egyptian materials and craftsmanship. Some of these details are probably new.

One surprising result of the research was the evidently close relationship between material, iconography and religious beliefs. The manufacturing process has obviously already been part of the religious act. Four different traces on the coffin lid turned out to derive certainly from further religious action from the ancient funerary ceremonies.
Comparison with similar pieces was a crucial help for the detection of these ritual traces and not to misunderstand them as dirt or damage. With the aid of ancient egyptian texts about religion and rituals it was possible to put the traces into an ancient cultural context. Dealing with these ritual traces it became clear, that conservation concepts that fit on european art, projected on ancient egyptian funerary equipment could easily destroy these traces, as several previous treatments on these type of objects show.

The treatment concept meets the special requirements of polychromed ancient egyptian wooden objects. Therefor the extensive literature has been consultet and own experiences as well as individual needs of the object led to the development of the conservation concept. The complete conservation is carried out following the diploma thesis.
Subject of the conservation concept is cleaning, securing of the paint layer, removal of old constructive supplements, new constructive supplements, inpainting and construction of a transport- and storage-box.


  • academic institution: HAWK Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaft und Kunst Hildesheim/ Holzminden/Göttingen
  • kind of theses:  Diplomarbeit
  • main Tutor:  Prof. Jirina Lehmann
  • assistant Tutor:  Dr. Renate Germer
  • date:  2001
  • Language:  German
  • pages:  142
  • pictures:  142

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