June 16, 2012

Prelude To The Ancient Egyptian Pyramids P4

The ancient Egyptians were rather closer to the disconcerting discovery of death than we are today. Their belief in a life after death was even firmer and also more concrete. In due course they developed a complicated ritual to assure eternal life for each man and woman, but in early times the individual seems to have put his own trust for survival after death in the continued existence of the divine king. The pharaoh’s tomb, its grandeur and splendour, as well as the ritual and sacrifices attending it, therefore became the concern of everyone. The arrival of the dynastic race in Egypt was heralded by the construction of large and impressive tombs for their kings.

Ancient Egyptian Pyramid
The eternal life which awaited the Egyptian after his death was very much the same existence as he had known before. He would work in the fields or, if he were rich, he would supervise this work, count his cattle and poultry, sit with beautiful girls at banquets, being entertained by still more beautiful girls. They would offer drink, play music and dance along on the walls of the tomb which also show us his garden and the ponds where he could hunt ducks or spear fish. The pictures on the walls of their tombs tell us more about the life of the Egyptian people then what we know about the Greeks, the Romans or even about the Middle Ages.

Unlike the battle scenes or the solemn processions on the temple walls, the pictures in the tombs were, of course, not meant to be seen. They were shut in with the dead owner as a magical device to provide him with all the comforts which he had known in his lifetime. They were to supplement the offerings which priests, paid for their services, had to place before the dummy door of his sepulchre. The furniture, the ointments and the gaming boards which were put into his grave all served the same purpose; to make sure that in the eternal life he had all that he had enjoyed in this one. In other words, the Egyptians believed that they could take it with them.

Around the early tombs of the kings the archaeologists found the graves of retainers and women who had gone with the king when he died. The skeletons showed that they were young women and there can be little doubt that they had been put to death at the pharaoh’s funeral. Like the women in the death pits of Mesopotamia, these harem ladies showed no signs of violence and it may be assumed that they went to their deaths voluntarily, as the retainers and household officials may have done.

Prelude To The Ancient Egyptian Pyramids :
Prelude To The Ancient Egyptian Pyramids P1
Prelude To The Ancient Egyptian Pyramids P2
Prelude To The Ancient Egyptian Pyramids P3
Prelude To The Ancient Egyptian Pyramids P4
Prelude To The Ancient Egyptian Pyramids P5
Prelude To The Ancient Egyptian Pyramids P6
Prelude To The Ancient Egyptian Pyramids P7

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