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    Burial Practices Of The Ancient Egyptian And Greco Essay

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    Roman Cultures, Mythology, and Burial Practices of the Ancient Egyptian and Greco-Roman Cultures.

    Ancient Egyptian and Greco-Roman practices for preparing the dead for the next cradle of humanity are very intriguing. These two cultures differ in a multitude of ways, yet similarities can be noted in the domain of funerary services. In the realm of Egyptian afterlife, The Book of the Dead can provide one with vital information concerning ritual entombment practices and myths of the afterlife.

    The additional handouts I received from Timothy Stoker proved to be useful in uncovering vital information regarding the transition into another life. In analyzing proper interment methods of Greece and Rome, parts of Homer’s Odyssey are helpful. One particular method used by the Egyptians was an intricate process known as mummification, which spanned seventy days in some cases.

    First, all internal organs were removed except for the heart. If the body was not already west of the Nile, it was transported across. The drying process was initiated by placing natron (a special salt) under the corpse, on the sides, on top, and inside the body cavity. This facilitated the process of dehydration, which took thirty-five days. Afterward, ancient embalmers anointed the body with oil and wrapped it in fine linen. If the deceased was wealthy, a priest wearing a mask of Anubis presided over the ceremonies to ensure proper passage into the next realm. One of the practices overseen by the priest was the placing of a special funerary amulet over the heart.

    This was done in order to secure a successful union with Osiris and their kas. The amulet ensured that the heart did not speak out against the individual at the scale of the goddess of justice and divine order, Maat. The priest also made use of a peculiar ritual instrument, a sort of chisel, with which he literally opened the mouth of the deceased.” This was done to ensure that the deceased was able to speak during their journeys in Duat. Another practice used by the Egyptians to aid the departed soul involved mass human sacrifice. Often, if a prominent person passed away, the family and servants would willingly ingest poison to continue their servitude in the next world.

    The family members and religious figureheads of the community did everything in their power to aid the deceased in the transition to a new life. The community ensured that the chamber was furnished with everything necessary for the comfort and well-being of the occupants. It was believed that the individual would be able to access these items in the next world. Some of the most important things that the deceased would need to have at their side were certain spells and incantations. A conglomeration of reading material ensured a successful passage: The Pyramid Texts, The Book of the Dead, and the Coffin Texts all aided the lost soul in their journey through Duat into the Fields of the Blessed.

    Besides all these spells, charms, and magical tomb texts, the ancient practice of depositing small wooden figures of servants in the tomb was employed. These Ushabistatuettes,” as they are called, were essentially slaves of the deceased. If the deceased was called to work in the Elysian fields, he would call upon one of the statues to take his place and perform the task for him. It was not unheard of for an individual to have a figure for every day of the year to ensure an afterlife devoid of physical exertion. Just about everything the embalmers and burial practitioners did during the process was done for particular reasons.

    Many of the funerary practices of the ancient Greco-Romans were done with a specific purpose in mind. Unlike the Egyptians, the Greco-Roman cultures did not employ elaborate tombs but focused on the use of a simple pit in the ground. Right after death, similar to the practices of the Egyptians, it was necessary to carefully wash and prepare the corpse for its journey. It was vital for all persons to receive a proper burial, and if they did not, they were damned to hover in a quasi-world, somewhat of a limbo” between life and death.

    One Greco-Roman myth that illustrates this point is The Odyssey by Homer.

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    Burial Practices Of The Ancient Egyptian And Greco Essay. (2019, Jan 30). Retrieved from

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