© Erich Lessing/Israel Museum

Grotesque, you say? That’s just the term archaeologist Trude Dothan applies to the mixture of Egyptian and Canaanite styles displayed by these three anthropoid coffins from 14th-century B.C. Deir el-Balah. This trio formed a part of the collection of the late Israeli general Moshe Dayan and belong now to the Israel Museum. The exaggerated features of the faces and the stick-thin hands and arms give an effect almost of caricature.