Birch, Samuel   [Hrsg.]
Catalogue of the collection of Egyptian antiquities at Alnwick Castle — London, 1880

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The sepulchral tablets in the tombs are divided into two classes. 1. Those of
hard stone, at first massive and of rectangular or square size, subsequently with
rounded top, hutu. They were placed inside the tombs. At the earliest period
and till the close of the 12th dynasty deities do not appear, but only scenes of
ancestral worship ; after the 18th and during the 19th dynasty deities, principally
the circle of Osiris, are represented, adored by the deceased. There are a few
found of the older dynasties, but they become more frequent at the time of the
11th and 12th dynasty, of which period many have been found in the sepulchres
of Abydos. After the 12th dynasty they are comparatively rare, but reappear
in considerable numbers at the time of the 18th and 19th dynasties, continuing
in use till the 20th, after which they are again comparatively rare, and were
superseded by wooden tablets painted with scenes of deities and adorations, which
continued in use till the days of the Ptolemies, b.c. 200, when these also finally
disappeared, those of the Roman period essentially differing from the older
Egyptian by the introduction of Greek art and inscriptions. The Egyptian
tablets have one formula more or less extended, commencing with an adoration
to the gods, who have given the deceased certain advantages in the future state,
such as the different viands used by the gods, to go in and out of Hades, and
permission to join the boat of the Sun : or an invocation to all living on
earth of every condition to recite the sepulchral formula when passing by the
tablet or monument.

2. The second class consists of tablets of wood introduced or substituted
for those of stone at a later period.
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