Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Coffin: Funerary box for the dead

Coffin comes from the Greek ‘kophinos’, meaning ‘basket’; baskets were used for burials by the ancient Egyptians and many other cultures.

Materials used for coffins include stone, lead and wood. Both stone and lead coffins may provide reducing conditions which will slow the rate of decay of the body. In ancient Egypt, wealthy and powerful members of society were buried in wooden coffins which were usually then placed for protection in stone sarcophagi.

In medieval Europe coffins tended to be associated with the wealthier sectors of society and were often made of stone.

The use of coffins increased from the mid seventeenth century onwards. The coffin box was invented by carpenter Matthew Coffin. During the days of custom built coffins, the age, weight and height of the deceased didn’t really matter, since each burial container was made to fit the corpse, even though the coffin maker didn’t always succeed in this.

However, when coffin making became a profession and caskets were ready-made, there were only two sizes, one for children and one for adults. Coffins are normally purchased wholesale by the funeral company and made up from packs when required. They come in a range of sizes and qualities of wood.
Coffin: Funerary box for the dead

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