The Late Period
Between the 8th and 4th Century BC, Egypt was ruled by indiginous dynasties with periods of occupation by Nubians, Assyrians and Persians. The Late Period concluded around 332BC with the conquest by Alexander the Great.
The repercussions of the political instability, brought Egyptian art, literatue and funerary customs to be revived and the prestigious models of their past, especially from the Old and Middle Kingdoms and the 18th Dynasty, came to the for again.
During the Late period burial equipment evolved and statuettes of the deity Ptah-Sokar-Osiris were produced, canopic jars were still used and false canopic jars used when the viscera were returned to the mummy.
401 Shabtis were still placed in tombs but the boxes they were placed in rarely survive as they were made of cartonnage (linen and papyrus pressed together)
Animal Cults in the Late Period.
Egyptian gods manifested themselves in many forms but many were associated with different animals. Bulls and rams were mummified on thier death but cats, dogs, birds and fish were raised in temples to be killed then mummified.
Late Period Sarcophagi and sculptures
Two large stone sarcophagi bear witness to the ability of the sculptures artisitic abilities during this period.
Sarcophagus of the Vizier Gemenefherbak, 26th Dynasty (664 – 525BC)
Below, Sarcophagus of Ibi, 26th Dynasty (664 -610BC)
The Coffins of the three sisters
The mummies of 3 sisters, Tapeni, Tamit and Renpetnefret, daughters of Ankh-Khonsu were placed in anthropoid coffins contained in square outer coffins. 25th Dynasty (722 -655BC)
Stela of the Late period
Amulets are attested in Egypt ever since the Predynastic Period, however they become particularly abundant in the Late Period. They were tucked into the mummy bandages, along with pectorals and figured plaques, to preserve the integrity of the body and allow passage into the underworld.
Papyri found in burials often told where the Amulets should be placed and from what materials they should be made from.