The discovery of King Tutankhamen’s tomb in the early twentieth century provided the world of archaeology with an enormous amount of information about Egyptian lifestyles. The items and artefacts that were found inside the tomb revealed the lifestyles of the Egyptian people at the time but they also exposed religious and cultural traditions that the Ancient Egyptians practised. The tomb unmasked an unknown period of Egyptian history and gave an insight to the reign of the famous King Tutankhamen. By observation and analysis of the objects discovered within King Tutankhamen’s tomb, archaeologists have theorised possible conclusions of what Ancient Egypt was like during the time period of King Tutankhamen’s brief time in power. The Egyptians firmly believed in the afterlife and the illustrations within King Tutankhamen’s tomb reinforce this, as well as the idea of the realm of the afterlife. Images and objects within the tomb show the Pharaoh as a divine being that represents the human form of a god. Many other important discoveries such as mummification techniques, spells, amulets, perfumes and canopic jars helped archaeologists draw conclusions about the lifestyle and religion of King Tutankhamen and his people.
Faith and religion played an important role in the Egyptians everyday life, and faith in the life after death was no exception to that rule. The Egyptians believed in the cycle of life, death and rebirth which became apparent in the patterns of nature- the constant movement of the sun and stars across the sky. The belief among the Egyptians was that the sun god Ra died every night in the west and was reborn each morning in the east. This journey was not completed without its difficulties though, the serpent Apopis had to be defeated by the sun god Ra with the help of friendly spirits. Each and every night the crew on Ra’s boat had to overcome enemies of the underworld. Evidence of this in Tutankhamen’s tomb is the picture on the western wall where King Tutankhamen is depicted on the sun god Ra’s boat, journeying into the underworld. There are twelve Baboons illustrated which represent the twelve hours of the night which King Tutankhamen must travel through before reaching the afterlife. The Egyptians did not hold just one view about the afterlife at any one time, but they were unwilling to simply disregard their old views of the gods in favour of newer ones. The myth of Osiris, the God of the Underworld, is an imperative part of Ancient Egyptian antiquity. Osiris is illustrated on the rear wall of Tutankhamen’s tomb wearing white robes. There are other scenes where King Tutankhamen is depicted as Osiris. On the north wall of the tomb, there are paintings of King Tutankhamen who is again represented as Osiris. He wears the double Atef crown which is a symbol of the ‘ruler of the underworld.’The painting also shows the Opening of the Mouth ceremony which is being performed on him by Ay who was Tutankhamen’s Vizier. The myth of Osiris is important to the people of Egypt as it supports the notion of the afterlife. It gives the ancient Egyptian people something to put their faith into and to truly believe in life after death as the myth is one of the most widespread stories told in all of Egypt. Other stories have been made around the events regarding the myth of Osiris and have been adapted to modern society. The myth has persisted throughout the ages whereas most other ancient Egyptian beliefs and traditions that were not written down were lost. The Ancient Egyptians believed that the body of an individual was made up of different key parts. This composed of the physical body, the life force, (Ka) the soul, (Ba) spiritual intelligence, (Akh) the shadow and finally a name. When the individual passed away the Ka, Ba and Akh would be released from the body. If the correct burial practises were carried out, the individual could enjoy afterlife. The Ka is pictured on the north wall of the tomb where King Tutankhamen’s...
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