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List this Seller's Books. Payment Methods accepted by seller. Condition: Used: Acceptable Soft cover. This is why all parts of the body were shown, so that a person would retain all parts of their body. Later tombs contained physical objects, so they could quite literally be taken to the afterlife.

This is the reason for the lavish tombs of pharaohs such as King Tut. Some early kings even had their servants sacrificed and buried with them. This practice would soon be replaced by shabti , small statues that would act as representations of servants. These inscriptions often contained incantations to aid the deceased through his journey to the afterlife, which was full of perils.


A famous early example are the Pyramid texts. Primarily concerned with the transformation into an akh , one of the forms of the soul, they consisted of spells to aid the deceased. Later the texts were also used by nobles, and other forms such as the Coffin texts and Book of the Dead became popular.

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These latter versions are notable as they were also available to commoners and supposedly removed access to the afterlife as a solely royal privilege. As common in ancient history, we do not have enough evidence to definitively prove that in the Old Kingdom, the afterlife was a purely royal privilege. It is likely that non-elites believed in some form of afterlife that they could access.

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Just as the texts contained magic spells for the deceased to use, so too were spells and rituals carried out by the living during the process of embalmment and burial. There were rituals for all stages between death and internment in the tomb. As with all the above burial rites, the specifics varied over time and from place to place.

The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts by James P. Allen

The rituals often required specialised equipment, some of which would be buried with the deceased. They generally concerned the proper transformation of the soul, so that it may journey to the afterlife. What treasures lie in store in the shifting sands of the Valley of the Kings? Dan talks to Chris Naunton to discover where the tombs of Alexander the Great and Cleopatra might be. Listen Now. He died in his early 30s, and a possible reason for his premature death is evident on his mummy, which is scarred on the face, neck, and chest by smallpox.


Courtesy University of Chicago Library. I think they were obsessed with life! They knew that the life they had on Earth was going to be of limited duration. Most Egyptians died by the time they were So they wanted to have a better afterlife. What you see in the tombs is a really careful preparation for eternity, so that everyone would have a very good time.

It varied depending on whether you were royal or nonroyal. If you were nonroyal, you would have all the best things available in the Egypt that you lived in, with none of the nastiness. And if you were poor, you could come back much wealthier. For kings, though, while they could enjoy all the best food and drink and entertainment, they also became one with the gods. They would sail across the sky with the sun god, Re, fighting against the powers of evil and darkness, trying to make the world safe for mankind and making sure that Egypt continued on forever. In both royal and nonroyal tombs, you get a lot of everyday items—all kinds of furniture, beds, chairs.

There'd be jewelry, clothes, makeup, and lots and lots of food and wine and beer.

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In Tutankhamun's tomb, there's even one of his camping beds that folds up so he could take it when he was going out into the desert. Sometimes a dog is buried with a person, even in the same coffin. At other times, the animals outlived their owners, and so they were buried outside the tomb. We have baboons and other monkeys and even horses buried in the courtyard of their owners' tombs. During the First Dynasty of Egypt [c. This was only done for kings. Some of the chosen servants would be put to death and buried around the king's tomb.

These people were supposed to be very privileged, because they would have a super afterlife with the king and the sun god.

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After the First Dynasty, instead of killing off people, they would have images—statues of their servants. Or they would write down the names of the people who were to come join them in the afterlife.

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In high-end mummifications, toes were wrapped individually and sometimes even capped by gold sheaths to ensure they wouldn't break off. Here, the feet of the mummy thought to be Rameses I. According to their religion, when you died, your soul continued. But unlike in a lot of modern religions, your soul was not just a formless thing. It actually could animate a statue of the dead person, or much better, the body of the dead person. And that's why mummification took place, so that the body would be preserved to host the soul.

People always talk about "the secret of mummification. Some of what we know about how people and animals were mummified comes from the fifth-century B. And, of course, you can learn a lot by looking at mummies themselves, and by doing chemical analyses on resins and other materials used in the embalming process.

Mummification lasted over 3, years, and over time, there were several developments.