Burial Practices of Ancient Egypt

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The funerary rituals introduced by the Egyptians were the most intricate, spiritual rites in their times and, perhaps, even to this day. Their elaborate customs, tombs, and gifts to the dead were representative of their pious, devoted nature. Albeit not all were as imposing as the oldest and still remaining Seven Wonder of the World, the Pyramids of Giza, all were meaningful and sacred. The Egyptians, highly reverent of their dead, adopted ornate, religious burial practices to fit to every member of their society. The grandeur with which Egyptians regarded their funerary customs does not come without explanation. They delighted in tying the occurrences of the natural world with supernatural dogma, and their burial practices exemplified this deluge of religion. A special deity was even attributed to cemeteries and embalmers: Anubis (Fiero, 46). Due to this deep sense of religion, a fixation with the afterlife developed within their culture. The Egyptian afterlife, however, is not synonymous of heave, but, rather, of The Field of Reeds, a continuation of one’s life in Egypt meant “to secure and perpetuate in the afterlife the ‘good life’ enjoyed on earth” (Mark 1; “Life in Ancient Egypt” 1). The pursuit of this sacred rest-place prompted the arousal of intricate Egyptian funeral rituals. Funerary Customs Perhaps the most notorious of burial practices originating in Egypt is that of mummification. Why such an extraordinary attempt was made to preserve cadavers may seem illogical to some, the reasons for embalming the dead made perfect sense to the Egyptians. Mummification kept corpses in a desiccate, pristine condition; the body must be suitable for the owner’s spirit to return for a rendezvous, as per Egyptian belief (Evans, 20).... ... middle of paper ... ...ld one day be a part of. Egyptian life was only a temporary engagement; the true pleasure came from crossing the Nile to the Field of Reeds where they would forever live in peace and luxury. Thus, Egyptian culture displayed the rise in significant funeral rites and burial practices. Works Cited Evans, Elaine Altaman. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Frank H. McClung Museum, College of Liberal Arts, University of Tennessee. Web. 02 Feb. 2014. Fiero, Gloria K. "Africa: Gods, Rulers, and the Social Order." The Humanistic Tradition. 6th ed. Vol. I. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2002. 44-62. Print. Prehistory to the Early Modern World. "Life in Ancient Egypt." Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Carnegie Museum of Natural History, n.d. Web. 02 Feb. 2014. Mark, Joshua J. "Egyptian Burial." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Ancient History Encyclopedia Ltd., 19 Jan. 2013. Web. 02 Feb. 2014.

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