Transforming into a swallow: Coffin text spell 294 and avian behaviour

Julien Cooper*, Linda Evans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Coffin Texts Spell 294 describes the transformation of the deceased into a mn.t-bird. Examination of the passage from a lexical, mythological, and geographical perspective have highlighted the bird's solar and Hathoric associations, but additional layers of meaning are revealed when textual references are also examined zoologically. This approach has shown that Spell 294 accurately describes the appearance and natural behaviour of migratory and resident barn swallows (Hirundo rustica), elucidating formerly problematical allusions and leading to a deeper understanding of the spell's transformative process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-24
Number of pages13
JournalZeitschrift für Ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015


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