closed receptacle for a corpse. Its purpose is usually to protect and to aid preservation of the body, although in the past some have believed that it may confine the spirit of the deceased. Bark, skins, and mats were commonly used in primitive societies to wrap the body prior to burial. Peoples living near rivers or oceans often buried their dead in canoes, and hollowed oak coffins have been found in the Bronze Age barrow
. The Chaldaeans and the early Greeks enclosed a corpse in clay, sealing the coffin by firing it. The largest known stone coffins (see sarcophagus
) are Egyptian. Wood and papier-mâché were also used in Egypt for mummy chests. Coffins lined with metal, usually lead, came into use in the Middle Ages. Most coffins used in the Western world today are made of elm or oak and are lined with bronze, copper, lead, or zinc.
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What does it mean when you dream about a coffin?
A coffin may represent physical confinement or a restricting of the freedom to express oneself physically. There may be a dead or decaying situation in the dreamer’s life. As with the cocoon, a dream of being in a coffin may have a restorative meaning of rebirth. (See also Burial, Crypt, Dead/Death, Grave, Hearse).
The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
A box of heavy shielding material, usually lead, used for transporting radioactive objects and having walls thick enough to attenuate radiation from the contents to an allowable level. Also known as cask; casket.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
the part of a horse's foot that contains the coffin bone
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
Coffin as a dream symbol most likely evokes fear, but before making a quick interpretation, carefully consider all of the details of the dream. The coffin could symbolize a lack of energy or vitality in the dreamer. It could represent the death of one stage of life and movement into another. (Not necessarily physical death! In fact, some cultures believe that if you see a person dead and in a coffin, he will most likely live a long and healthy life!) When dreaming about coffins, we may be contemplating the nature of the death experience and may access the state of consciousness that is attuned to the spiritual world. Most simply, and most likely, the coffin in your dreams may represent feelings of confinement and lack of freedom.
Bedside Dream Dictionary by Silvana Amar Copyright © 2007 by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.