According to The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, “Egypt has become the image of heaven, and what is more, the resting place of heaven and all the forces that are in it. The land has become the living temple of the world.” (Oxford Encyclopedia, p. 139) There were four things that started the foundation for the Ancient Egyptians. The first is agriculture.
There had to be several people living in one place. The second is they had to have a strong government. They needed to have order and no chaos. People needed to be settled and no one ought to fear life. The third one is they had to have some system of writing to keep record of all the events that were to take place.
The fourth was the religion. This gave the Ancient Egyptians a moral code or aspect on how to live their lives. Egyptian religion was polytheistic from beginning to end. In the early days, fetishes, animals, and human beings were demonstrated everywhere in religious representations. The gods working for the king never appear on standards, but the divine fetishes and animals in the service of the king do. Thus, the divine signs on the standards symbolize the connection of a god with a specific town.
It is difficult to distinguish features in predynastic human figures that would challenge their interpretation as deities. The scarcity of human figures from predynastic times suggests that the figures of bearded men and dancing or naked women were intended as divinities. The gods could assume many different shapes. Their appearance was therefore unpredictable, though a certain pattern had developed by dynastic times. In Ancient Egypt when someone dies, there are things within the person that are still alive. Those things are the ba (soul), the ka (energy / spirit ), the heart, the shadow, and the name.
... spirit god, and was also seen as a godlike figure. While there are many similarities between the religions of ancient China and ancient Egypt, there ... both similar and distinct religions are ancient China, and ancient Egypt. Ancient Chinese religion and ancient Egyptian religion share many things in common with each other ...
The divine ba (creative power) could rest in different places. It was therefore important that the ba stayed with the dead. “Your ba belongs to your innermost properties.” (Oxford Encyclopedia, p. 139) In coffin texts, the god and his ba are clearly distinguished, while animals appear as manifestations of different divine powers. The soul couldn’t be by itself.
It always had to travel with the spirit, which was the ka. In contrast to the active ba, the sacred images prepared for the gods were called the ka. The Egyptians thought that the ka was the creative force that accompanies people in life. The heart is the seat of the soul.
They think and feel with their heart. They had to listen to their heart with anything and everything they did. They weren’t allowed to do anything against their heart. The brain even got messages from the heart. The shadow is the presence of a person that once was alive and then died. No one was able to get rid of it.
Once you ” ve felt the shadow, you would know who it was. A name is something very important. When you give a name to a child, it was a big responsibility. A name had some kind of significance and always meant something. Egyptians never said the name of God. They would spell, sing, or write his name, or they would use other forms for God such as Adonai or Yahweh.
For the Ancient Egyptians, houses were temporary and tombs and temples were meant for eternity. Tombs and temples were so important to them because that is where their bodies would be kept forever. The process of afterlife is very significant to Ancient Egyptians. Whatever life you lived on earth had to be extended to the next life. Whatever age you left this life would be the age you will have in your next life forever. Afterlife is a state of being that people enter when they die or a place to which they or their souls go.
The Egyptian cultures’ view is that the souls of the dead face judgment: the good are rewarded in the afterlife, while the evil is punished. The Ancient Egyptians believed that a soul had to convince the gods that he or she had committed no sins in life. The Egyptians believed that when their souls entered the afterlife, they would be weighed against a feather belonging to Maat, the goddess of justice and truth. The Ancient Egyptians also believed that the body had to be preserved after death in order for the spirit to survive, and they went to great lengths to prepare for the afterlife. They built tombs to protect the dead. Within the tombs, they placed goods such as food, furniture, and even servants, for the dead person to use in the next life.
... 4). The Egyptians believed that the afterlife was quite similar to the deceased's life on earth. It ... indicate the significance of exhibition of the dead. Ancient Egyptian artwork was key in depicting the ... and Qebehsenuf (Ions 135). The weighing of the souls is the main theme of the drawing, directed ... point, in Dynasty XXI, mummification involved 4 steps: 1) removing all the internal organs, because ...
The Egyptians provided the dead with written instructions, including advice on how to survive the journey after death and guidebooks to the afterworld. The afterlife took many forms but was often pictured as a comfortable existence in a realm of rivers, fields, and islands. Texts from the Book of the Dead were inscribed on the walls of royal tombs, which included prayers, hymns, and magical spells to protect the dead from the dangers of the soul’s journey. The process of mummification was also very important to the Egyptians. The brain was taken out and was fed to the cats, and a scarab was put in place of the heart, which ensured a good afterlife.
There was a display from the Chicago Field Museum of the whole mummification process which took four steps. There were also little objects and figurines that illustrated these steps. Step 1) The first task is to remove the internal organs. Prayers would be said while the necessary incision on the left side of the abdomen was made, and the person who made the cut may have been ritually cursed and chased away for having done it. After the intestines, liver, lungs, and stomach were removed, the body and organs were washed. Step 2) The body and its organs are dried in mounds of natron.
Baking soda and other salts absorbs water and is mildly antiseptic. Drying took about 40 days. Fluids were absorbed and dripped off the slanted tables. Step 3) After washing and stuffing the body, the embalmers separately wrap each finger and toe. Priests placed protective amulets and pronounced proper prayers at each new step.
... twice as large as the Cycladic Woman Figure. It depicts Egyptian king Menkaure and his queen, Khamerernebty. In both figures in the ... not fertility, but female power. She is posed alongside her king, holding on to him, and several prominent details place her ... in a more authoritative pose, one typical for figures of kings. His foot is forward, indicating authority, and his arms are ...
As much as 400 yards worth of linen strips were used to wrap the body completely. Internal organs were separately wrapped and placed in jars called can opic jars, to be burned with the mummy. Step 4) Over two months have passed since the embalmers began their work. The mummy is finally ready to go to the burial site with mourning relatives and the priests who will restore its human senses during the burial service.
“Depending on the wealth and importance of the deceased, a huge entourage including priests, paid mourners, musicians, and dancers might accompany the mummy. But not all burials were this fancy. With a simple mummification and burial service, even a poor person was assured eternal life.” (Field Museum quote) The center of the Egyptian cult was the temple, a sacred area enclosed by a wall that excluded the profane. The temple could be called a “house” or a “chapel” which includes section of the temple devoted to worldly needs. Inside was the cult statue consecrated by a royal act, which served as a dwelling for the divinity.
The king had to care for the cult statue during the daily ritual. In depictions of cultic performance, it is always the king who acts in front of the god. The cult ritual was a dialogue between gods and thus the king acted in the divine performance as a god. The king represented Egypt before the gods. He worshipped the gods in standing, kneeling, and crawling positions while presenting them with offerings.
The sense of offering is not merely to give in order that the god will give in return; it reminds the deity that order must be maintained. Egyptians could not always pray directly to the gods. A “personal piety” movement developed from the Middle Kingdom onward in which Egyptians could directly address the gods and seek a divine answer. Since creation was not perfect, misguided people would sin against order; gods and kings had to prevent chaos. “The creator formed mankind in his own image — -not jus his physical appearance, but also the free will that seduced humans from the correct course of order. For the same reason, people could hope for divine salvation if they took the god into their hearts.” (Oxford Encyclopedia, p.