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The Egyptians motivation - death and preparation

 
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Styler78
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:16 pm    Post subject: The Egyptians motivation - death and preparation Reply with quote

Bare with me here...........

I am an Ancient Egyptian, living at the end of the reign of Nectanebo II. I am unaware that my king is currently running a marathon and is heading for Nubia....I am also unaware of the fact that Nectaneco II would be the last true- Egyptian ruler.

My thoughts are of death. I have seen many kings burial sites and have not yet seen any evidence that the fields of reeds, etc exist. Of course not, i am not yet dead.

So what is there to keep me motivated enough to spend most of my money and time on my tomb and contents?

All i have seen and been told is that the Pyramids, KV tombs, mastabas, etc have been looted. Some Pharaohs have had their names erased and forgotten from the kings lists. What do i have to tell me that i will live forever?

Thanks
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anneke
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probably a matter of faith? Just as it is today for the many believers in the different religions we have on earth.

Most people today make funeral arrangements. Probably not at lavish as back then, but why even bother? If you go on as a soul, then the body does not matter. So why the burials even today?
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Styler78
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If you go on as a soul, then the body does not matter. So why the burials even today?


Thanks for the response, Anneke.

Faith must have been the most dominant thought in AE when considering your own death. I guess that even in the most turbulent of times, the AE's kept the faith in their gods - even in the other aspects of their lives were falling apart.

Stuart
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Hekat
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The courtyard outside the tomb was also a place for families to visit on significant dates, in much the same way as people visit graves nowadays and place flowers. At 1 of the lectures I saw a lovely photo of a tied bouquet that had been excavated that morning in the court of a tomb Very Happy

I suppose it could also be a status symbol.
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thewayshemoves
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hekat wrote:
The courtyard outside the tomb was also a place for families to visit on significant dates, in much the same way as people visit graves nowadays and place flowers. At 1 of the lectures I saw a lovely photo of a tied bouquet that had been excavated that morning in the court of a tomb Very Happy

I suppose it could also be a status symbol.



If the carry over from AE to Early Greco-Roman will help, they would use the courtyard for the family to hold various positions such as torch-bearer, etc. Almost like our modern day wedding. I believe the AE had some elaborate setups like that.
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Ma'a-mu-khr'w
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 2:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Em-Hotep-Rh'ekh,

Perhaps I could shed some light on this issue. Yes, as a few have said, this is all a matter of Faith. But you must also view the world through the eyes of the Akhu (deceased of ancient Egypt). Everything in their lives was pretty much seen as religious. In fact, I would bet they would have a hard time distinguishing the differences between Law and God. You see, unlike in later religions, The King was also the Pope; so to say. The Pharaoh was not only a King (a human) he was the closest person to the gods. He was seen as a living god.

Keeping this in mind, one must look towards their ideas on an afterlife. While many may think there is no need for a person to hold onto their body after death, the Egyptians did not see it this way. The body was very important. It was the 'resting place' of a person soul. It was also through the body that the soul of the dead would be able to enter back onto the realm of the living an collect offerings and visit loved ones. This is the main reason why mummification became such a big industry in antiquity.
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Ranoferhotep
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leaves open the question about the poor who couldn’t afford a burial. We know some were buried in the neighborhood of their masters (nobles, landowners, … even the king) which leads to the assumption they tried (or believed) to benefit from the ceremonies and offerings given to their former lords and so to say “hitchhiked” with them. We know others were buried in crude pits, sometimes provided with crude funerary offerings, a mat, reed baskets, some food, a jar, etc…somewhere in the dessert, and when not being dug up by e.g. hyena’s, natural mummification process took place.

But, we are talking about roughly 5000 years of history and in all those years, when you count them all up, a total population off…a million or more (just guessing here). Now if we follow the rule that every single A.E., child, woman, man, elderly believed their body had to be preserved in order to live on in the afterlife, where are all these bodies?

And then we have also the question what happened to the people living in the Delta, which is swampy and wet land.
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Naunacht
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ranoferhotep wrote:
Leaves open the question about the poor who couldn’t afford a burial. We know some were buried in the neighborhood of their masters (nobles, landowners, … even the king) which leads to the assumption they tried (or believed) to benefit from the ceremonies and offerings given to their former lords and so to say “hitchhiked” with them. We know others were buried in crude pits, sometimes provided with crude funerary offerings, a mat, reed baskets, some food, a jar, etc…somewhere in the dessert, and when not being dug up by e.g. hyena’s, natural mummification process took place.

But, we are talking about roughly 5000 years of history and in all those years, when you count them all up, a total population off…a million or more (just guessing here). Now if we follow the rule that every single A.E., child, woman, man, elderly believed their body had to be preserved in order to live on in the afterlife, where are all these bodies?

And then we have also the question what happened to the people living in the Delta, which is swampy and wet land.


I suppose that people did the best they could with what they had at the time. Most families could not afford full mummification and elaborate funeral rites. Others could afford cheaper forms of mummification but not the full treatment. Since most people remained in the same social class, probably in the same town, their entire lives, they were probably looking at what was done by their friends and neighbors for examples of how to bury grandpa in style.You buried you family members in your local cemetary according to your local customs.

The elite likewise would look at what was done by thier social peers.

What did those few people who somehow managed to rise into the ranks of the elite do about their less well provided for ancestors?

Hatshepsut's Steward, Senenmut appears to have had the bodies of some family members, including that of his father, exhumed and buried along with his mother near his own large, super high status tomb. His father, Remose, was provided with an anthropoid coffin. The bones of several other people (presumably famiy members) were sort of jumbled to gether in a box. The grave goods in the tomb mostly belonged to his mother who lived long enough to see her son rise to power and influence.

Bringing other family into the sphere of his own elaborate burial preparations would perhaps enable them to share somewhat in his good fortune in the afterlife--even if he couldn't do much about the state of their bodies--and would no doubt be seen as an act of filial piety.

I can't think of any other examples off hand, but I'm sure that there are others. It is an interesting thought though. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the population were illiterate and have no way of talking to us.
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