Belief in an Afterlife


Egyptian's Beliefs

The ancient Egyptians believed in life after death. If the people of Egypt had pleased the gods, they would live a life of ease with Osiris. Spirits would drink, eat, and visit deceased relatives and friends. Possessions were buried with the dead, because the Egyptians believed they couldn't survive in the afterlife without them. In the Middle Kingdom it was believed that all people could look forward to an afterlife, but in the Old Kingdom the afterlife was believed to be only for kings and their associates.

About Mummies
Before pyramids, many Egyptians were buried in shallow pits in the deserts. When a body was dried out by Egypt's harsh climate, it became a mummy, or the preserved body of a dead person. The Egyptians believed that the soul would leave the mummy and return only to receive offerings and food. The body was preserved so that the soul could recognize the body. The Egyptians didn't begin mummification, which is artificially preserving the body before burial, until the Fourth Dynasty.


Process of Mummification

Mummification was an expensive and lengthy process. During the process workers gently removed the organs from the body. Next, the body was filled with a natural salt and stored for forty days. As soon as the body was dried out, it was then cleansed and bathed in spices. After being cleansed, the body was wrapped in long linen bandages. While the mummy was being prepared by the workers, artisans were hard at work carving the coffins. Egyptian rulers, or pharaohs,were fortunate to have three or four coffins. The coffins, like boxes, were nested inside one another. The innermost layer of the coffin was commonly shaped like a human body with the deceased person's face painted on the cover.
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Coffin and mummy

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Mummified cat



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Mummy an his/her possesions




Bibliography