Ancient Egyptian Burial
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During Ancient Egyptian times, the living would bury the dead or they would have some type of funeral that would allow their loved one to pass to the afterlife.

Afterlife

The afterlife is thought to be a place that was similar to the life that people lived on Earth, but it was to be better and a perfect, happy place.  This was an idea that the afterlife would end in all good things, if one died with a pure heart.

Burial

There were burials that happened in the form of mummies.  Mummification was a time where the Ancient Egyptians would take the dead body of their loved one and preserve it.  The soul would then go to a place in the afterlife.

Mummification

When a person would die, the family would take the body into a place and the person would embalm the body or make the body so that it would not decay.

It was thought that the only way that a person could make it into the afterlife was if their body was preserved.  If the body was not preserved, there was no way that person would be allowed to enter after deal.

Entering into the afterlife was the main source of focus for most of the Ancient Egyptians, so it was very important for their body to be mummified.

Ceremony

When the body died, the priest would come and do a ceremony over the body.  He would wash the body and put oil on it and cover it in water that was taken from the Nile River.  The priest would pray over the body and ask the gods to take them to the afterlife.

Organs

The organs would then be removed from the Ancient Egyptians body and they would be washed and put in jars.  The organs were all removed except for the heart, which had to be kept in the body for the afterlife.

Steps

The body was then covered with a form of cloth called natron.  The organs would be packed in the natron cloth as well and it would help to dry the body to prepare it for the afterlife.

For 40 days, the body would be dried out so that all of the fluids in the body would dry.  After the body was dry, the natron is removed, and the organs are wrapped in the cloth and put back into the body.  The body is again rubbed with oil and the nostrils are stuffed and make-up is applied to the eyes and the face.

The body is then decorated with amulets and charms so that the person that died can take these things into the afterlife with them.  It was very important for the dead to have treasures to take with them when they died.

A mask was then put on the face of the body and it was used so that the Ba and Ka could find the body.  The mask looked as close to what the person originally looked like and it was like a nametag so that the Ba and Ka could come together and know the body.

After the body is washed, cleaned, oiled and decorated, the body is put into a coffin that is called a cartouche.  The name of the person is written on the casket so that the Ba and Ka know where to go.  The name of the dead person has to be written somewhere so the Ba and Ka know which body to go to.

Resting Place

There is then a place where the priest takes the family and the friends, and the body is put into the tomb.  People cry and follow the priest to this area while he prays.

The tomb is finally locked and sealed and the body goes into its judgement in the afterlife.

Parts of the Soul

There were nine separate parts of the body and soul:

  • Ka-part of the soul.
  • Ba-the other part of the soul that was in human form.
  • Khat-the actual body of a person
  • Akh-the person after they went to the afterlife.
  • Ab-the heart.
  • Ren-the secret name that a person was given when they entered into the afterlife.
  • Shuyet-a person’s shadow.
  • Sahu and Sechem-part of the person after they were transformed in the afterlife.

The khat was important because it allowed the Ba and the Ka to find itself in the afterlife.  The Ba and the Ka had to find itself in order for a person to be able to live a happy life in the afterlife.

More Facts About the Ancient Egyptian Burial:

  • When a person is buried, their body is made into a mummy, this is called mummification.
  • It took around 70 days for the mummification to work.
  • The organs that were put into jars were buried in the tomb with the body.
  • The heart is never removed from the body because it is needed to enter into the afterlife. The heart is thought to be the part of the person that has the most life.
  • When a body is taken to be embalmed, this is usually done by a priest.

What Did You Learn?

  1. What is an Ancient Egyptians burial?  An Ancient Egyptian burial is the process of preparing the body for mummification.
  2. Does the body actually get buried? Most of the time the Ancient Egyptians were not buried but they were put into tombs.
  3. Why was it important for the body to be mummified? The body had to be mummified because according to Ancient Egyptian culture, the person could not make it to the afterlife if their body was not mummified.
  4. What is another word for mummification? Embalming is another word for mummification, this means the body is prepared so that it does not decay.
  5. Why was a mask and name tag used on the person and the coffin? The mask and name tag was used on the person and the coffin because the Ba and Ka which was part of a person’s soul, had to be able to find each other and the body and it could only do that with a mask and a name written somewhere.