Dani Becher

Gable-roofed coffin: Pictured in this artist’s drawing is a view of a wooden coffin with its gable roof and painted decorations. The shaded areas on the roof beam and triangular sides of the gable were painted black; the light areas between them were red. The coffin was assembled with mortised joints (see detail), that is, with wooden pegs called tenons which interlock with rectangular shaped cavities.

The walls of the coffin were mortised to the four-corner posts and to the base of the gabled lid. Analysis of the coffin wood revealed that the corner posts are from Christ’s thorn tree and that the other parts are sycamore and cypress. The coffin was approximately 1.8 feet wide and 5.7 feet long, and the roof stood about one foot above the wall of the coffin.