Essay on Mummies

526 Words3 Pages

According to British anthropologist, Edward Tylor, culture is "that complex whole which included knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society." (Ferraro, 18) Many cultures around the world have fascinating ceremonies and rites held for their dead but perhaps the most amazing is that of the ancient Egyptians. They are famous for their skillful embalming and their elaborate burial customs.
The Egyptians believed that every person had a spirit that would live on after the human body died. The spirit would be able to move, eat, drink, and enjoy pleasures just like then the body was alive. But, in order to do this; the spirit had to have a
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Therefore, the Egyptians left jars of grain and water in the graves.
The ba was the other form of a person's spirit. It was different than the ka in that it was able to leave the tomb. It could do this in any shape it pleased. However, the most common was a small bird with a human head that resembled that of the dead person. Without a mummy, there would be no ka and no ba. Death would be final, with no afterlife and this was something the ancient Egyptians could not accept.
There were many gods that were important to the Egyptians but the most important was Osiris. The god Osiris was said to have triumphed over death, and every ancient Egyptian wanted to follow his example. Legend told that Osiris was a good pharaoh who was murdered by his evil brother, Seth. Seth cut Osiris into fourteen pieces and scattered them all over Egypt. His wife, Isis, eventually found all of them and magically Osiris' body become whole. This story of the dead king's miraculous resurrection gave Egyptians hope in everlasting life. So to be reborn, a dead person tried to be identified with Osiris in every possible way. Mummies were prepared in exactly the same way as the body of Osiris had been hundreds of years before. If all went well, the mummy would "become an Osiris" and live forever.
The key to making long lasting mummies was drying out the bodies of the dead before burial. The first part in doing this was to remove the organs that were most likely to cause
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