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21st Dynasty Coffins

Kara Cooney's 21st Dynasty Coffins Project (also known as the UCLA Coffins Project) is an ongoing research endeavor that began in 2008. Equipped with high definition cameras and a passion to learn, Cooney takes her research team to investigate coffin reuse in the Third Intermediate Period. The scope of this project is to determine the amount of "borrowing," or reuse, a given coffin displays. The significance of reuse would help Cooney and other researchers of this period to paint a detailed picture of the socioeconomic and political turmoils that have plagued the 21st Dynasty and how it may have affected its succeeding dynasties, specifically through its funerary artifacts. Working in cooperation with renowned museums and institutions in Europe, the United States, and Egypt, Cooney has traveled abroad with her research entourage (including graduate students, husband and photographer Remy Hiramoto, and other archaeological experts) to Berlin, Brussels, Cairo, Copenhagen, Edinburgh, Florence, Leiden, London, Paris, Poznan, Stockholm, Turin, Vatican City, Vienna, and many more.

Cooney's analysis of the coffins she has studied thus far yields a percentage of reuse that exceeds 50%, a rate of coffin reuse so high as to suggest the normalization of recommodification of funerary arts, at least during times of crisis. Ultimately, the findings from this project would contribute to answering socioeconomic inquiries that still exist in Egyptology today.