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The variety of burial rituals and customs of Egyptian and Etruscan societies

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It is historically important how an ancient society chooses to honor, remember and protect their dead. By studying ancient societies burial rituals historians can better understand any society and how that society functioned. Most societies have very specific rules for burials, so each person knows exactly what to do to guarantee a clear path to the better than now afterlife. The Egyptian and Etruscan peoples were two very different societies with very different ideas about burial rituals and protection. Every Egyptian or Etruscan citizen knew with full faith that there was a safe path to heaven waiting for them. To understand protection in the context of burial it is important to look at how each society was run, who ran it and what was the society leaders goals.
The omnipotent Egyptians ruled all of there empire with total absolute control, ruled by an absolute monarch, the Pharaoh. The pharaoh decided the right procedure to follow for just about everything that happened in ancient Egypt. From the Encyclopedia Britannica Egyptian religion, “The task of the king as the protagonist of human society was to retain the benevolence of the gods in maintaining order against disorder” (Britannica). The burial practices for the average Egyptian citizen was very different than for a Pharaoh. The average citizen would be buried in the desert, wrapped in cloth and with some food and treasured possessions, not much need for protection. The Pharaoh planned his whole life for exactly how the burial ritual would be remembered and how Pharaoh could protect his legacy for all eternity. The largest protector the world has ever seen is the Great Sphinx statue from the Giza funerary complex.
The Giza funerary complex is a mix of assorted Pharao...

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...encken 126-7). By using the tumulus or mounded tomb method the Etruscan people could hide these elaborate tombs in plain sight. Scholars of today appreciate that protective insight as they explore the treasure trove of information and artifacts preserved in the Etruscan tombs.
The Egyptian and Etruscan peoples were very different in many ways, but what they had in common was a respect for the afterlife. Many of their strange rituals seem bizarre by today’s standards. Human sacrifice, underground cities for the dead, but it worked for them. I am sure today there are many rituals our society follows that any average Egyptian or Etruscan would at least question.
The world of today owes all the society’s of the past a powerful thank you. Without the extreme level of protection towards burial sites we would lack all the wonderful knowledge that these burial sites bring.
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