Each head is believed to be the protector of each organ within the jar and is dedicated to a specific deity. The preservation of the organs is significant as they allowed the dead person to breathe and eat in the afterlife. The internal organs were then wrapped and put into either the body or put in boxes instead of sitting in jars. Canoptic jars were still placed in the tomb but they were solid or empty and provided a symbolic purpose. In Tutankhamun’s tomb the canoptic jars were discovered in a shrine that was found in the treasury room of the tomb.
This myth, although mostly incomplete, was central to the Egyptian religion. It explained the importance of the Pharaoh, Ma’at, and establishes the Egyptian beliefs about the afterlife and magic. Egyptian mythology evolved and grew, like many other mythologies in other civilizations. The mythology, like every religion, was important to the Egyptian way of life. It was a guide that explained how to live their lives and to survive their death.
Interestingly, X-rays reveal that the mummy case of Paankhenamun does in fact contain a mummy inside dating back to the years of c. 945 – 715 B.C. The practice of mummification was the Egyptian people’s way of preserving the spirits of the Gods/Goddesses and royalty. The idea was that when these beings came back to life, they would be preserved and well prepared for their next lives. By the time of the New Kingdom, the Egyptians already had developed techniques of mummification, which were done under a priest’s supervision (Stokstad 114), and since Paankhenamun was the priest of Amun, he was most likely was in charge of these procedures. In the ancient Egyptian culture, the belief was that there was a life force and spirit inside of the body, known as the ‘Ka’.
This strongly implicates that the ancient Egyptian civilisation believed in a spiral realm. At the beginning of the New Kingdom, pharaohs and highly ranked officials were often buried with the ‘Book of the Dead’, which contained magic spells and information to assist and transition the dead to the underworld and afterlife. This symbolised that the magic and divinity were an important part in the Egyptians religion. Tomb paintings and statues of thousands of gods and goddesses as well as their animal manifestations demonstrated that ancient Egyptians had practised in polytheism. Osiris, the god of the dead and the afterlife, and the goddess Ma’at were widely illustrated in tombs.
Thus, the art and architecture of Ancient Egypt stemmed directly from their religion. Egyptian theology, with its deified pharaohs and strange animal-headed gods, was complicated, but the most important belief was that survival after death depended upon the preservation of the body. This belief would influence the architectural design of the tomb, where the corpse was ultimately sealed (Silverman:142, 1997). Immortality was only for privileged royal and priestly beings (Stierlin:54, 1983).This implies that their tombs would be somewhat prestigious and not just and ordinary burial site. At the day of resurrection the Ka or soul would re-enter the dead body; this meant that it must be there, intact, ready for that moment.
The ancient Egyptians believed that part of the human spirit was permanently linked to the viability of the body. Works Cited http://www.ancientegypt.co.uk/gods/explore/main.html http://www.ancientegypt.co.uk/ http://cleopatravii.edublogs.org/sdvfjas-db/ Discoveries – Ancient Egypt http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deir_el-Medina http://www.ancient-egypt.co.uk/deir%20el%20medina/index.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horus http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/horus.htm http://www.egyptianmyths.net/horus.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_of_Ra http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khufu Picturing the Past – Egypt by John Malam http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luxor
The ancient Egyptians had an intricate tradition of burial customs that they believed were required to ensure their reincarnation after death. The ancient Egyptians had a very complex polytheistic religion that played an enormous importance within their culture. They developed funerary concepts based off of their polytheistic beliefs. Everything the ancient Egyptians had done in their lives dictates whether or not they will achieve the ability to become reincarnated. To help reinsure that they reach the afterlife; they surround themselves with objects that help them on their journey after death.
A common question many civilizations shared and strived to answer was about death and the afterlife. In Ancient Egypt, the lives of many citizens centered around a prosperous future in death. In fact, Ancient Egyptians believed life continued on in death. For this reason, they yearned to live justly as citizens of Egypt. If not, then the gods would deem them unworthy of entering heaven, or paradise.
The Egyptian Culture Reflected in Worship Much of our knowledge about ancient Egyptian culture is based on elaborate worship rituals related to death and the afterlife. Egyptians were devoted to their gods and to their pharaohs who were gods on earth, as demonstrated by their willingness to build the pyramids for the safe passage of their leaders into the afterlife. Understanding the development of Egyptian society and their theological system requires a basic knowledge of the geography of the area. The Nile River Valley and Nile Delta, circa 4000-5000 BCE, was comprised of about 12,000 square miles of arable land. The villages and towns of ancient Egypt were found up and down the length of the Nile with most of the population living below the First Cataract (located approximately at present day Aswan).
In addition they left amulets in their tombs to help with the afterlife. That then after the dead person was mummified so that they can keep their spirit the opportunity to reunite with their bodies, just ready for the flawless eternal life. However, before mummifying they would take all their organs out and put them in ceremonial jaws. Near the end of the Old Kingdom the book of the dead was mainly for pharaohs and high social elites. The magic spells were sketched on papyrus for pyramids and in tombs, of the dead.