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Was a relatively modern society that flourished for 5,000 years in the Nile Delta having a distinct order or defined systems:

  • Cultural
  • Social
  • Political 
  • Economic
  • Religious 

Has had perhaps more influence upon the  modern western world.

Ancient Egypt


In the ordering of human affairs  there appeared, perhaps for the first recorded time, a morality of a group life based on internal conscience rather than on external authority supported by force.

Ancient Egyptians


The Egyptians believed that the sun was the center, the focus of the universe, from which all thing emerged and to which they returned. Osiris was the god of the underworld and judge of the dead. The justified soul would be allowed to pass into perpetual happiness. The condemned soul would pass into perpetual misery. The justified would take the name (absorbed) Osiris once they passed to the other side. (Concept of a final judgement and an afterlife).

Theologies of Sun-Worship and the Cult of Osiris


Egyptians belived that this was the center of the universe from which all things emerged and to which they returned.

The Sun


The god of the underworld and the judge of the dead.



One of these has been to attribute some life to the body lying in the grave, while believing at teh same time that an element or aspect of the dead person resides elsewhere apart from the grave.

Universal Responses to Death


Based on the person's behavior on earth.

Judgement of the Dead


  • Everyone who could afford a sculpted recored
  • Performance of ceremonies
  • Charms attached to the mummies
  • Prayers said by those who visited the tomb

Held Necessary to Secure Future Happiness


Every mummy was already an:



Attained major importance from the belief that the deceased would resume his normal, everyday activities in the after-life.

  • In the earlier periods it was not unusual to sacrifice servants and make presentations of food and money to aid the soul on its journey to the sun.

The Practice of Embalming


Defined as the death cycle, the resuscitation of the body with the soul after a period of about 3,000 years. Through a continuous series of ritualistic actions the reconsituted preserved body would reunite with the soul and pass into eternity.

The circle of Necessity


Is in no way connected with a later concept developed by Judeo/Christian thinkers, specifically, the belief in the immortality of the soul. However, the Judeo/Christian belief in the final resurrection could be linked to this concept.

The Circle of Necessity


Elements of the body that joined to make a person could be ______ in the body of the dead and, when resuscitated though offerings and prayer, would restore the "person" so they could pass on to the sun.



  • The BA
  • Yakhu
  • The name
  • The shadow
  • The heart
  • The Ka

Elements of the Body


The soul or spirit/ Personality

The BA


"The shining one". The soul transported to the sun. A combination of the BA and KA.



Identity of the deceased.

The name


Flesh and bones.- The actual shadow of the deceased. The sillhouette or profile.

The Shadow


Intellect and emotions. 

The Heart


Offerings to the dead; prayers, jewels, etc. It is the breath or spirit that wants to collect these offerings.

The Ka


Beside the religious beliefs involving the resuscitation of the body, there was a second motivation. Specifically, to sanitize the dead to prevent this threat.

The treat of plague as a burial motive


Like the chinese and other eastern cultures, the Egyptians incorrectly believed that the by-products of putrefaction seeping into the soil would, in itself, generate plague. Like the Chinese, they innovated this as a means to safely intern the vast majority of the population.

Dry Burial


Bodies were shrouded in coarse cloth and were laid upon beds of charcoal under six to eight feet of sand. These bodies were not treated chemically but rather allowed to dehydrate, to mummify naturally.

Dry Burial 


Evidence has been  discovered on the great plains of Memphis, above the flood plan of the Nile River, of fine specimens of preservation by natural mummification. (Not coffined). There are more ____ mummies than chemical mummies.



For about 5,000 years, Egyptians practived embalming, peaking during the New Kingdom period 1738 B.C. 

Embalming practices and procedures of the ancient Egyptians


Two historians giving accurate accounts of Egyptian embalming procedure were ___1____ 484- 424 B.C., considered the "Father of Recorded History" who described embalming in detail in his work "The Persian Wars" and __2___ ______ who wrote about the time of Christ. Both historians gave similar accounts.

  1. Herodotus
  2. Diodorus Sirculus


Egyptian embalming practices discriminated between the wealthy and nobility, the merchant-military class, and the masses, usually the poor and enslaved.

  • The most expensive, highest grade of embalming practice was for the nobility (2-5%)

Class Distinction


  1. Evisceration Process of all body cavities
  2. Vatting process
  3. Treatment of the Viscera
  4. Wrapping and Jewling of the body
  5. Encasement Procedure

Steps of the Embalming Process


The brain was removed by a combination of the injection of cedar oil into the brain case through the ear and nose, causing the brain to soften and dissolve and then a hook shaped spoon was utilized to scrape out the remaining undissolved tissue. The cranial cavity was then packed with bandages soaked in resin bitumen (coal tar derivative). This operation was usually done through the nostrils.

Evisceration Process of the Cranial Cavity


The throacic, abdominal, and pelvic cavities were entered through the left lumbar region. The incision was made with a black flint ceremonial knife called an Ethiopian stone. The entire viscera was removed, cleansed and spiced. The heart wasn't always removed.

Evisceration Process of the Thoracic, Abdominal, and Pelvic Cavities