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RELIGION was the glue that bound Egypt together
● Created a common understanding
● Shared values that are essential to the growth of a civilization.
What do we value as a civilization - spiritually and socially
During the New Kingdom, these temples honored a Trinity of gods
● based on the mythical family of OSIRIS, ISIS and HORUS.
● Osiris and Isis were married
○ Horus was their child - even though Isis was a virgin
Even though Osiris, Isis and Horus were very important, hundreds of other gods and
goddesses were worshipped in Ancient Egypt
The ancient Egyptians believed in the RESURRECTION OF THE BODY and life
everlasting life - Why?
•The sun fell into the western horizon each evening and was reborn the next
morning in the east.
• New life sprouted from grains planted in the earth
• the moon waxed and waned.
1. PYRAMID TEXTS – Writings that were
intended to help the pharaohs travel
through the afterworld
Told him to use ramps, climb
ladders, walk up stairs and fly to
They were written on the inner
passages of the pharaoh's burial
The Pyramid Texts are considered the
oldest body of religious writings in the
2. COFFIN TEXTS helped the
deceased find their way in the
• Used by common people
• Inscribed inside the coffins of
Middle Kingdom high officials
• They consist of over 1,000
• Osiris’s afterlife was a
wicked place
• Threatening beings,
traps and snares
• The spells helped
people survive the
3. BOOK OF THE DEAD contains spells to assist the deceased on their
voyage to eternity
• The spells were written on strips of linen that were wrapped around the
mummies and on papyrus paper
• The idea of the balance made its way into Books of the Dead
• Step 1: Swear you did not commit any sin
During the New Kingdom the Egyptians honored a Trinity of gods
● based on the mythical family of OSIRIS, ISIS and HORUS.
● Osiris and Isis were married
○ Horus was their child - even though Isis was a virgin
Step 1: Journey through the Afterlife
The journey to the afterworld was considered full of danger. A mummified body
traveled on a solar bark to battle through …
● serpents armed with long knives
● fire-spitting dragons
● reptiles with five heads.
● Lakes made of fire
42 Negative Confessions (Papyrus of Ani)
I have not committed sin.
I have not committed robbery with violence.
I have not stolen.
I have not slain men and women.
I have not uttered lies.
I have not committed adultery, I have not lain with men.
I have not attacked any man.
I am not a man of deceit.
I have not stolen cultivated land.
I have slandered [no man].
I have not been angry without just cause.
I have not debauched the wife of any man.
I have not polluted myself.
I have terrorized none.
I have not transgressed [the Law].
I have not shut my ears to the words of truth.
I have not blasphemed.
I am not a man of violence.
I have not acted (or judged) with undue haste.
I have not cursed (or blasphemed) God.
I have not acted with evil rage.
Step 2: Swearing innocence
Step 3: JUDGMENT OF THE DEAD - The deceased were taken before OSIRIS and their hearts
were weighed on a scale, against a feather representing MA’AT - the goddess of truth and justice.
If your heart weighed less than the feather you passed through to the afterlife
● You go to paradise in the field of reeds and attain everlasting life
"May I walk every day unceasing on the banks of my water, may my soul rest on the branches of the
trees which I have planted, may I refresh myself in the shadow of my sycamore."
Those who were judged as wicked were tossed to Ammit "the swallower."
• who was portrayed as having the rear of a hippopotamus, the body of a lion, and the head of
a crocodile.
Around 450 B.C., the Greek historian HERODOTUS documented the art of
As much of the brain as it is possible is extracted through
the nostrils with an iron hook, and what the hook cannot
reach is dissolved with drugs. Next, the flank is slit open . . .
and the entire contents of the abdomen removed. The cavity
is then thoroughly cleansed and washed out . . . Then it is
filled with pure crushed myrrh, cassia, and all other aromatic
substances, except frankincense. [The incision] is sewn up,
and then the body is placed in natron, covered entirely for
70 days, never longer. When this period . . . is ended, the
body is washed and then wrapped from the head to the feet
in linen which has been cut into strips and smeared on the
underside with gum which is commonly used by the
Egyptians in the place of glue. -- Herodotus
•NATRON - The main ingredient used in the
mummification process.
• A compound of sodium carbonate and
sodium bicarbonate (salt and baking soda),
The body was filled with Nile mud, sawdust,
lichen and cloth scraps to make it more flexible.
Small COOKING ONIONS or linen pads were
sometimes used to replace the eyes.
the HEART was left in the body because it was
considered the center of intelligence
6. Natron
7. Onion
8. Nile mud
9. Linen pads
The ancient embalmers used very
few tools.
The basic tool kit included a
•KNIFE to make the abdominal
• hooked bronze RODS to extract
brain matter,
• a wooden ADZE-like tool to
remove internal organs
• a FUNNEL to pour resins into the
cranial cavity through the nose.