What did people in ancient egypt do to prepare for afterlife?

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    In addition to the fact that the ancient Egyptians mummified their deceased remains so that they could pass into the Afterlife with a physical body that their ka(soul) and ba( spiritual double)would recognise. Their entire belief system was focused on the life in the After world .

    They considered this mortal life nothing but a transient preparation for the real thing, the time when they would walk with the Gods. From birth until death this was the spiritual aim of each ancient Egyptian.

    Their palaces and homes of the nobles were built using mud brick when they could have afforded to use limestone or granite.This is why there are so little remains of the luxurious palaces that the Pharaohs and nobles must have lived in.As mud bricks are not enduring and eventually revert to the earth they are made from.

    Instead they spent their time and money investing in the finest enduring stone for thier mortuary temples and ingeniously planned excavations for their tombs. As these were thought to be their true residences for eternity.

    Their mortuary temples were given names such as The Mansion of a Million Years.

    The ancient Egyptians also believed that a person would always exist so long as their name remained in written form. This is the pivotal reasoning for the wanton destruction and obliteration of monuments and statuary of individuals such as the female Pharaoh Hatshepsut and the heretic, monotheistic Pharaoh Akhenarton.

    Obliteration of their names by their political rivals and antecedents meant that they no longer existed.

    Source(s): Graduate Egyptologist.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Death And The Afterlife

    The Egyptians believed that when they died they would make a journey to another world where they would lead a new life. They would need all the things they had used when they were alive, so their families would put those things in their graves. Egyptians paid vast amounts of money to have their bodies properly preserved - trained undertakers treated the body with chemicals and wrapped it in tight bandages to keep it in shape.

    Making A Mummy:

    First of all remove the brain either through the nose or from behind the eye. (throw away the brain or feed it to the cat).

    Fill the empty skull with Natron (Natron is a salty chemical found around the shores of the lakes near Cairo) and plaster.

    Cut open the body. Take out the stomach and clean it with palm wine. Fill in the hole with myrrh and other spices.

    Take out the liver, intestines and lungs and put them in canopic jars, add Natron and seal them. Do the same with the stomach.

    Stuff the body with linen rags and sew it up with only the heart left inside. This is very important as it will be weighed later when the person reaches the afterlife.

    Place the body in Natron for 70 days.

    Wash the body and wrap it from head to foot in bandages of fine linen cloth smeared with gum - the bandages can be made from as much as 375 square metres of material, enough to cover a basketball court).

    Perform the Ceremony of opening the mouth of the mummy - if this was not done the mummy would not be able to eat, drink, breathe or talk.

    Place the mummy into a coffin.

    Place the coffin inside a tomb, the greatest of tombs being a pyramid but only Pharaohs and queens could have pyramids built.

    The Afterlife - The Egyptians believed that to get to the afterlife they would have to pass through a dangerous place with perils such as monsters, boiling lakes, fires and particularly nasty snakes that spat out poison. These evils could be overcome by the right spells and the Egyptians often wrote down the spells on paper and left them in or near the coffin. If they overcame the evils they would reach the gates of Yaru (the Egyptian afterlife) and meet their friends again. But first they had to pass the greatest test of all in the Hall of Two Truths. This test involved weighing the heart, the only organ which had been left in the body. The heart was placed on one side of a balance and in the other side was placed the Feather of Truth: the Feather of Truth held all the lies and sins of their past life. The 3 great gods, Osiris, Anubis and Thoth, decided the result of the weighing. If the heart passed the test then the dead person was allowed to enter the gates of Yaru but if the heart failed the test then it was eaten by a terrifying monster known as the devourer. The devourer was part crocodile, part hippopotamus and part lion and once it had eaten a heart the dead person was gone for ever.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Preparing for the afterlife called for much care and thought; much more than the body went into the afterlife. Ka, the term for a sort of body double, accompanied the corpse “beyond” and could bring it back to life. Making and painting the cases often called for a portrait of the deceased, though by no means was it supposed to be an exact likeness. This was important since not only was the Ka eternal -- the dead person’s name and even his shadow were deathless. Ba, another body spirit, assumed the mien of a hawk. This close identification with animals is a hallmark of ancient Egypt. The colors and patterns of mummy cases are distinct reflections of their natural surroundings, as well as a way to show deference to their gods and goddesses.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Preservation of the body was an essential part of Ancient Egyptian funerary practice. Without the body, the "ka" could not return to find sustenance, and if the body was decayed or unrecognisable, then the ka would go hungry and the afterlife of the deceased would be jeopardised. Mummification was therefore dedicated to the prevention of decay.

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  • 1 decade ago

    first they would take out all the organs and put them into holy jars, then they put the empty body into a vat of salt fro 6 months, rap them carefully (they even had Gauss between the fingers) then put them into a layered coffin, wood layer, non precious metals, and gold layer put them in a resting place with some worldly stuff.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    to make sure they made it there

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