Ancient Egyptian Afterlife

The Life after Death in Ancient Egypt beliefs

In ancient Egyptian religion the Egyptians sought a guarantee of their own rising after death and in the daily circuit of the order of the universe in the unfailing morning sunrise.

Within the divine order of ancient religion, Egyptians considered the human being to be an organism made up of separable spiritual elements that should be kept in harmony to ensure a good life and afterlife.

The Papyrus of Ani - Book of the Dead

After death the person who kept together all elements of the personality became a transfigured being or akh, enlightened spirit. The person who failed to achieve transfiguration was condemned to a condition of eternal death as mut, dead person.

The ancient Egyptians therefore found preservation of the body after death essential. The soul, ba, lived in the body and when it flew out as a cause of death it had to have easy access back. Therefore, it was important to preserve the body as lifelike as possible.

Furthermore, the Egyptians wanted the same things in the afterlife as they had had in this life. According to the religion the embalmed bodies were buried with food, animal skin coverings, pottery etc. to give them the same position in the afterlife-society as they had had in their first lives.

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