Egyptian View of the Afterlife Essay

1687 Words7 Pages
The Egyptians believed very much in life after death. As Taylor states in Death and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt, “It is often observed that they appear to have devoted greater efforts and resources to preparing for the afterlife than to creating a convenient environment for living” (Taylor, 2001:12). The Egyptians viewed life on earth as one stage and death as the beginning of another. They believed that, “human existence did not end with death and that survival of the body played a part in the new life” (Taylor, 2001:12). One of the key elements in the Egyptian culture and religion was the preservation of the body. The body was the most important aspect because it was like a portal through which an individual could continue to live…show more content…
Owners could be recognized by the artwork and inscriptions carved around their tomb entrance (Harpur, 1987:1). Lastly, the changes made to the tombs styles can be clearly shown over time throughout the years. In Egypt, life and religion were so intertwined that it would have been impossible not to believe in a life after death (Brewer, 1999: 98). Hence religion basically defined Egyptian way of life and their customs.
The tombs had two main functions. The first function was a place that provided an eternal resting place in which the body could lay protected from thieves and scavengers. The second function of the tomb was a place where cults and ritual acts could be performed to ensure eternal life (Taylor, 2001:136). The body of the person was buried along with their belongings in the tomb to ensure the individual had all the proper materials needed for the afterlife. The Egyptians usually did this because “Tombs were constructed to mirror aspects of the afterlife” (Olson, 2009). These tombs were not only a place where bodies of a deceased lay; it was also a place where rituals would take place. One ritual that was done on the bodies was the ‘Opening of the Mouth’. This was a burial ritual that “accompanied the placement of funerary goods in a tomb- and was a necessary step in the deceased’s rebirth” (Olson, 2009). One very important service that had to be done was the mummification process in which the removal of organs
Get Access