Ancient Egyptians Belief of the Afterlife

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Ancient Egyptians Belief of the Afterlife
November 16, 2011
Drew Wofford
Mrs. Wilker

Ancient Egyptians had a very different outlook on the afterlife. Their view of their life after death is completely opposite what we believe today in America. Egyptians have many different views, customs, myths, symbols, and gods. Their gods are different than the gods that we see in the Roman cultures. They had the same ideas behind their gods but just different names and the gods were gods of different areas of their life. The Egyptians lived every day in fear of these gods and how they could please them. They knew that one wrong move could cost them a valuable thing in their “afterlife.” Overall the Egyptians had a very unique view of where their bodies went after their life on this Earth was done.

Ancient Egyptians believed in a very colorful life after death. They thought of their life after they died much like the one they had in Egypt, only this place was perfect in every sense. Egyptians believed that everything that they were buried with also went with them to their afterlife. They thought that all the worldly possessions that they could fit in their tomb went with them. Regular citizens became regular citizens, while kings became gods when they died. Citizens of Egypt believe in their rulers. They believed in these people to the extent of thinking they were divine. Egyptians thought that while they were on Earth, they were there to represent the god Horus. Horus is believed to be the original ruler of the world. After Horus’ death, he passed the world on; this tradition is believed to be passed on from generation to generation. On Earth, the kings were thought to be great men. These kings were exalted and put on a pedestal; much like any other nation did to their rulers. Egyptian people believed firmly in the fact that their kings on Earth would die and become an even more of a divine god. Kings bodies were taken really good care of after they died. The people believe that they were actually handling a god’s body. To make their burial even more significant they mummified their bodies. Mummification is a process to preserve the body naturally. This was just a way to dry out the body. The process to mummify a body took a very long time to complete. Egyptians believed that they must say prayers to keep the soul of the god at peace. They said prayers every day during this mummification process.

After the king was dead and properly mummified they had to find a proper place to bury them. Pyramids were the most popular burial grounds for somebody oh high standing. Rulers began the build on their own personal pyramids as soon as they took the throne. Even the slightest detail had to be of their liking. There are over 80 pyramids known today in Egypt. The pyramids were filled with gold, jewelry, and anything else that the king wanted to take to the afterlife with him. Many Egyptian experts believe that the Egyptians used the shape of the pyramid for three different reasons. They said that the pyramid reminded them of the first land to appear at the beginning of time, a hill called Ben-Ben. The pyramid was also said to represent the rays of the sun. Another reason they used this shape was because the sloping sides showed how the dead rulers could simply climb the side to the skies and heavens to live in their afterlife forever. We know now that the death of a Pharaoh was tied to the rising and setting of the sun. It was believed that when a Pharaoh died he represented the setting of the sun, and when the next king took over, he represented the rising of the sun. This was another reason why the Egyptians went to such extreme measures to protect the king’s bodies, to stop the possibility of a cosmic disaster. The pharaohs believed that their death was just a journey to the “afterworld”. Since they were not an actual member of the afterworld yet, their body had to be protected so it could be recognized by their spirit. Tomb robbers...
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