The term coffin designates a container for the mummy that is not of stone. It is most commonly made of wood, cartonnage or pottery. Royal coffins may even be of silver or gold. A coffin is either rectangular or in the shape of the human body. Although its primary function was to shelter the mummy, it usually accumulated a whole series of symbolic aspects. The first coffins date back to the Early Dynastic Period. The most recent ones are from the Roman Period. The mummy of the more important individuals rested in several nesting coffins. Most coffins are decorated with texts and images. A stone container for the mummy is called a sarcophagus.