Ancient Egyptian Tombs: The Culture of Life and Death by Steven Snape

By Steven Snape

This e-book explores the advance of tombs as a cultural phenomenon in historic Egypt and examines what tombs display approximately old Egyptian tradition and Egyptians’ trust within the afterlife.
• Investigates the jobs of tombs within the improvement of funerary practices
• attracts on a variety of info, together with structure, artifacts and texts
• Discusses tombs in the context of lifestyle in old Egypt
• Stresses the significance of the tomb as an everlasting expression of the self

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Extra resources for Ancient Egyptian Tombs: The Culture of Life and Death

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This was not a mere phrase, in the way one might refer to a church, synagogue or mosque as being a ‘house of god’, in that an Egyptian god was 42 Non-Royal Cemeteries of Dynasty 4 literally thought of as living within the temple and being provided with the physical necessities that he or she required. In this respect the temple was conceptualized in the same way as a tomb: a physical ‘house’ to contain a spiritual entity given physical form. There were, of course, significant differences – the god was not limited to the temple in the same way that the ka was to the tomb – but the common source of ideas about the ways in which spiritual entities were to be treated – the human experience of the real world – is striking.

Those who love the king, especially any scribe, are those who will read out the writing on this stela and will give me bread and beer from that which you possess. If you possess nothing then you shall make this pronouncement: ‘A thousand loaves of bread and a thousand jars of beer for the boat captain and ruler of the oasis, Khentika’. (Strudwick 2005: 374) As an encouragement to the passer-by, statements which portrayed the tomb-owner as a worthy individual who deserved such posthumous concern began to be added to the offering list, so Khentika goes on to say that he ‘gave bread to the hungry, clothes to the naked and merkhet-oil to he who had none’.

The identity of the owners of these tombs at Predynastic sites such as Naqada is still much debated, but whether these were built for emerging royal individuals or not, they clearly mark a trend for the deployment of very significant resources into the creation of large tombs and equipping them with expensive and exotic goods. By the end of the Predynastic Period there was a fundamental bifurcation between the nature and status of the king and that of the rest of the population of Egypt. Kingship was seen as a divine office, the king uniquely qualified to interact with the gods for the benefit of Egypt, and a being whose power was made manifest through royal buildings, including his tomb.

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