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1 Laila H. Al-Mazidi Dr.

Antonia Stamos ART101-03 October, 26th 2011 "The Ancient Egyptians After Life" The ancient Egyptians culture is considered as one of the earliest civilizations that had a huge impact on people's beliefs. One of these beliefs was life after death, which played an important role of the Egyptian culture. The Egyptian had a complex beliefs and theories about death because they believed that death was not the end of life. Ancient Egyptians actually considered death as a necessary process that people have to go through in order to enter a dimension of complete bliss and eternity. The Egyptian Afterlife was considered as a perfect existence in a perfect version of Egypt. The Afterlife was a place of whole bliss, amusement, and peace. Also, they considered the mortal world as a temporary statement, and they can reach their full potential and power in eternal life. Moreover, the ancient Egyptians thought that each person had three souls. They called them the "ka," the "ba," and the "akh." For those to function properly, it was considered essential for the body to survive intact. However, the Egyptian believed that to transfer yourself from mortal world to eternal life you need to preserve your body. .Ancient Egyptians considered life after death to be very important Preserving the body means that you have to remain it intact, therefore, they used a method called mummification. Mummification had many strategies such as making

2 tomb for the body, casting spell on them, and adding eath masks. They believed that it was essential to protect he three parts "ka," "ba," and "akh" souls. Egyptians went hrough many processes till they stared using ummification. They started burying their dead bodies in a ody sized pits in the desert, but they were not aware of the eat and the dryness of the sand. They dehydrated the odies quickly, creating natural mummies. Later, ancient Egyptian started developing their methods by burying their dead in coffins to protect them from wild animals and in the desert, and from the dryness. They realized that preserving dead bodies in coffins decayed when they were not exposed to the hot weather, and dry sand of the desert. Unfortunately, the Egyptian weather did not help them through the burring process. The reason behind this is that their climate has almost no measurable rainfall. The Egyptian went through all of these processes of discovering a way to preserve their dead bodies because it played an important role in their religion. It was important in their religion to preserve the dead body to be the closest to a life-like a manner as possible. Moreover, being rich was very important for mummifying the body. It turned out that the more money they .used to have, the better burial they got The mummification strategy continues to be somewhat of a mystery that archaeologists still did not discover. Ancient Egyptian did not leave any books or texts behind them to give an insight on how they succeed in making the mummies. a d t t m b h b

3 Instead, archaeologists relied on few depictions and fragments of papyrus that they have found to help them understand how they succeed in the mummification method. They also found more information by gathering examinations of the .mummies that they discovered themselves through the years Mummifying the dead bodies go through many processes. Before mummifying the body, special treatment for the body occurs from priests. The body should be washed and purified. After that, they remove the organs and only remain the heart. When they finish that, they fill the body with stuffings. Once they finish stuffing the body, they dry it by covering it with a powerful substance called natron that absorbs the moisture from the body. Then, they remove the stuffings after 40-50 days and replace it with other materials such as linen and sawdust. In addition, they wrap the body in strands of linen and cover it in a sheet. They usually used shroud for the cover. Then they place .the body in a coffins made of stone called sarcophagus When the mummification process is completed, the mummy is moved from the deceased person's house to the tomb in a funeral parade that included he dead person's friends and relatives. lso, more than one priest attends the uneral too in order to perform some t A f

4 several rituals and customs. One of these customs is the Opening of mouth ceremony. The purpose of this ceremony is to restore the dead person's senses and let him or her have the ability of receiving offerings. Then, they burry the mummy and they steal the tomb. After that, the deceased person's family or the hired priests give food offerings to the deceased in the chapel at regular intervals. When the time passes, families definitely will neglect offerings food and stuff to long-dead relatives, so most mortuary cults only lasted in some few generations. On the other hand, while the cult is still on, the living people sometimes wrote letters to the deceased relatives asking them for help. The reason behind that is that they believed that the dead could affect .the mortal world as the gods did Egyptian used tombs to burry their mummies. These tombs had varied shapes by the time. The first tombs were rectangular and they were built by bricks. Kings and nobles were entombed in them. Each tomb contained a subterranean burial chamber, and a separated aboveground chapel for mortuary rituals. The mastaba from the Old Kingdom was developed into the pyramid, which it symbolized the primary mound of Egyptian myth. The pyramids were built and reserved for royal people. Not only that, but these pyramids were also accompanied by large mortuary temples that held a ritual customs in them. They continued building pyramids even in the Middle Kingdom. When the pharaohs' pyramids were built, the original popular mastabes was waned. Gradually more, commoner with plenty means were buried in rock-out tombs with disconnected mortuary chapels in close proximity, an approach which was not as much of exposed to tomb stealing. The pharaohs were buried in such tombs in the

5 beginning of the New Kingdom. When the religion itself has been declined, this .burring custom has been stopped In conclusion, the Egyptian believed that the pyramids are a "one-way ticket" to eternal life. They thought that your life starts once you are dead, that's why they built pyramids that include a long narrow cavity so that the spirit of the dead bodies such as the kings can get out of the tomb. The pyramids are one of the most important landmarks in the world. In fact, they are one of the world's seven wonders. Actually, there are over one hundred pyramids in Egypt. One of the famous manmade pyramids is the great pyramid of Giza, and it has been famous since ancient times. Egyptians .used them for preserving the mummies. Also, they used them worshiping their Gods

6 Works Cited http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/articles/egypt/Egyptian-Afterlife-Beliefs/3182 http://www.king-tut.org.uk/egyptian-mummies/egyptian-afterlife.htm http://library.thinkquest.org/16665/afterlifeframe.htm http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/Homework/egypt/mummies.htm http://www.kingtutone.com/mummies/mummification/ http://si.edu/encyclopedia_si/nmnh/mummies.htm http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/pyramidintroduction.htm http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_religious_significance_of_the_pyramids http://connections.smsd.org/csi/burial%20customs.htm http://www.crystalinks.com/egyptafterlife.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Egyptian_religion www.google.com