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Greek historians Herodotus (5th century BC) and Diodorus Siculus (1st century BC) provide the most complete surviving evidence of how ancient Egyptians approached the preservation of a dead body.

 Before embalming, or preserving the dead body as to delay or prevent decay, mourners, especially if the deceased had high status, covered their faces with mud, and paraded around town while beating their chests.

 If the wife of a high-status male died, her body was not embalmed until three or four days have passed, because this prevented abuse of the corpse.In the case that someone drowned or was attacked, embalming was carried out immediately on their body, in a sacred and careful manner.

This kind of death was viewed as venerated, and only priests were permitted to touch the body. After embalming, the mourners may have carried out a ritual involving an enactment of judgement during the Hour Vigil, with volunteers to play the role of Osiris and his enemy brother Set, as well as the gods Isis, Nephthys, Horus, Anubis, and Thoth.
 
 

Ancient Egyptian Ceremonies and Rituals
 
Ever since European archaeologists began excavating in Egypt in the 18th and 19th centuries CE, the ancient culture has been largely associated with death. Even into the mid-20th century CE reputable scholars were still writing on the death-obsessed Egyptians whose lives were lacking in play and without joy.

Mummies in dark, labyrinthine tombs, strange rituals performed by dour priests, and the pyramid tombs of the kings remain the most prominent images of ancient Egypt in many people's minds even in the present day, and an array of over 2,000 deities - many of them uniquely associated with the afterlife - simply seems to add to the established vision of the ancient Egyptians as obsessed with death. Actually, though, they were fully engaged in life, so much so that their afterlife was considered an eternal continuation of their time on earth.
 
Egyptian religion was highly ritualistic, involving daily ceremonial activities (complex rituals celebrating the Divine) and regular, popular festivals, or public celebrations, with a pre-determined periodicity (daily, quaterly, monthly, yearly, etc.) cast in a religious calendar, based on stellar (stars), astral (planets), seasonal (Sun and Sothic cycle), monthly (the 4 quaters of the Moon) and daily phenomena (decans and Earth-rotation).

These rituals were believed to be essential to both the living and the dead.They also had death Rituals and Ceremonies. The Death Rituals practised by the Ancient Egyptians included embalming and mummification. The mummies of dead Egyptians were placed in anthropoid (man-shaped) coffins which were decorated with a likeness of the deceased. The coffins were then placed in protective stone sarcophagus.
 
These are well known Death Rituals but there were other extremely important death rituals which were practised including the 'Opening of the Mouth ' ritual. Royal marriages were most likely celebrated with a great deal of pompous attention and ceremony. Kings often married several women, foreign princesses and the like, for political reasons.

It was also a reason to give lavish banquets and offerings to the gods, and also exchange of gifts to the bride´s father, who might be an important possible foreign ally in coming days.Festival calendars tend to list the details of these celebrations, such as their date, the deity honoured and perhaps a sentence concerning the involvement of a specific priest in a rather terse fashion.

Fortunately, the walls of the Greco-Roman temples at Dendera, Edfu, Esna, Kom Ombo and Philae provide additional information not included in the festival calendars, which allow us to reconstruct the events in greater detail. Furthermore, papyri scrolls and fragmentary biographical texts reveal intriguing and often hidden details such as processions, morning, noon and evening ablutions of the deity; chants; and speeches.

Feast of Wagy, celebrated seventeen days after New Year's day, was connected with the mortuary rituals of ancient Egypt and was celebrated by private individuals outside of official religious circles as well as within the precincts of the major temples in Egypt.


Ancient Egyptian Ceremonies and Rituals

Ancient Egyptian Ceremonies and Rituals

Ancient Egyptian Ceremonies and Rituals

Ancient Egyptian Ceremonies and Rituals

Ancient Egyptian Ceremonies and Rituals


Ancient Egyptian Ceremonies and Rituals

Ancient Egyptian Ceremonies and Rituals


In Festival of Opet, theban citizens and their guests from afar celebrated the fruitful link between their pharaoh and the almighty god, Amun, who in the New Kingdom became a state god. During the celebration it was thought that the might and power of Amun were ritually bequeathed to his living son, the king.



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