Live mumificering

Live mumificering

Mange film har skildret levende mumificeringer (berømt i Mummy -serien) for alvorlige forbrydelser mod faraoerne. Var dette virkelig en praksis i det gamle Egypten som straf?


Det er meget tvivlsomt; ligeledes er det notorisk svært at bevise en negativ, og derfor ikke at kunne tænke på registrerede tilfælde af mumificering, der blev udført på mennesker, mens de stadig var i live, ville jeg sige nej, det blev ikke gjort.

Det er værd at huske på, at mumificering var en præcis og hellig ritual, der tog omkring 70 dage at gennemføre, udført med den hensigt at bevare og forberede kroppen, så den kan være nyttig til at opretholde ånden i det hinsidige. Det forekommer endnu mere tvivlsomt, at en person, der blev indrømmet for en alvorlig lovovertrædelse, ville blive tilladt en sådan ceremoni.

Jeg vil dog sige, at det er sandsynligt, at hver eneste metode til at påføre et menneske smerte og død, der kan forestilles, er blevet praktiseret på én gang, hvilket naturligvis ville omfatte mumificering af de levende. Jeg vil dog stadig tro, at svaret i forbindelse med dit spørgsmål er nej.


Ud over de fremragende argumenter fra @user995689, tror jeg, at det ville være svært at forestille sig, at at give evigt liv til nogen ville blive opfattet som en straf. Mumificering giver sjælen adgang til evigheden; det er ikke straf.

Er der nogen registrering af denne "straf" før hollywood? Er der nogen registrering af denne straf fra enhver kilde, der har en legitim baggrund i egyptologi?


Will Durant i Our Oriental Heritage, som er bind 1 i The Story Of Civilization, omtaler levende mumificering som straf for særligt alvorlige lovovertrædelser. Udgivet i 1935, tror jeg, og så var det bestemt før den film, du tænker på.


Dette er ikke i Egypten, men religiøs selvmumificering gennem sult er en kendt praksis i flere asiatiske traditioner. Ideen er at efterlade et lig, der ikke vil rådne, som skal indeholde så lidt vand og fedt som muligt. Bare at sulte ihjel vil ikke forårsage dette resultat. Praksis kaldes Sokushinbutsu blandt buddhister og Sallekhana blandt Jains.


Live mumificering - Historie

Efterlivet var en vigtig del af den gamle egyptiske kultur. En af de måder, de forberedte sig på efterlivet, var at forsøge at bevare kroppen så længe som muligt. De gjorde dette gennem en proces kaldet balsamering. Disse balsamerede kroppe kaldes mumier.

Hvordan balsamerede de mumierne?

Egypterne gennemgik en omfattende proces for at bevare kroppen og forhindre den i at forfalde. Det er lidt groft, så vi vil ikke gå ind for meget af de blodige detaljer. Det vigtigste, de gjorde, var at prøve at få alt vand og fugt ud af kroppen. Det er vand, der forårsager meget af forfaldet.

Egypterne startede med at dække kroppen med et salt krystalstof kaldet natron. Natronen ville hjælpe med at tørre kroppen ud. De ville også tage nogle af organerne ud. Med kroppen dækket og proppet med natron, lod de kroppen tørre ud i omkring 40 dage. Når det var tørt, ville de bruge lotioner på huden til at bevare det, forstærke den tomme krop med emballage og derefter dække kroppen i omslag af linned. De ville bruge mange lag strimler af linnedindpakning, der dækkede hele kroppen. Harpiks blev brugt til at lime lagene med wrap sammen. Den samlede proces kan tage op til 40 dage.

Når liget var pakket ind, var det dækket af et ark kaldet et svøb og placeret i en stenkiste kaldet en sarkofag.

Hvorfor bekymrede de sig så meget om de døde kroppe?

I den egyptiske religion var kroppen nødvendig for at personens sjæl eller "ba" kunne forene sig med personens "ka" i det hinsidige. Kroppen var en vigtig del af efterlivet, og de ville bevare det for evigt.

Fik alle denne smarte balsamering?

Kun de meget rige havde råd til den bedste balsamering. Det var dog vigtigt for alle, så de fik det bedste, de kunne betale for, og de fleste af de døde blev gjort til mumier. Det anslås, at der blev lavet 70 millioner mumier i Egypten i løbet af de 3.000 år af den gamle civilisation.

Der er stadig mumier af nogle af de gamle faraoer rundt omkring. Både Tutankhamun og Rameses den Store blev bevaret og kan ses på museer.


10 Prisen på mumificering


Ifølge en græsk rejsendes skrifter fra 60 & ndash57 f.Kr. kostede det et talent sølv, cirka 30 kilo (66 lb), for den dyreste mumificering. [1] Dette var i den ptolemaiske periode i egyptisk historie, da der var en vis konflikt i dynastiet, som kunne have resulteret i inflation.

Omkostningerne ved leverancer af mumificering i dag, herunder linned, natriumcarbonat decahydrat (natron), harpiks og røgelse, udgør omkring $ 3.600. Men at blive mumificeret i dag koster næsten $ 70.000, og forskellige virksomheder mumificerer faktisk kroppe af mennesker såvel som kæledyr. Mumificering af kæledyr kan koste fra $ 7.000 til over $ 100.000. I modsætning hertil kostede en begravelse og begravelse i USA i 2017 mellem $ 7.000 og $ 10.000 i gennemsnit, og kremering kostede omkring $ 1.000.


Live mumificering - Historie

De gamle egyptere troede på opstandelsen af ​​kroppen og det evige liv. Denne tro var forankret i det, de observerede hver dag. Solen faldt i den vestlige horisont hver aften og blev genfødt næste morgen i øst. Nyt liv spirede fra korn plantet i jorden, og månen voksede og aftog. Så længe orden blev opretholdt, var alt meget pålideligt, og livet efter døden kunne opnås, forudsat at visse betingelser var opfyldt. For eksempel skulle kroppen bevares gennem mumificering og få en ordentligt indrettet grav med alt, hvad der er nødvendigt for livet i efterverdenen.

M ummificering, bevarelse af kroppen, blev beskrevet i de gamle pyramide tekster. Med Osiris, de dødes gud, faldt kosmos i kaos, og gudernes tårer blev til materialer, der blev brugt til at mumificere hans krop. Disse materialer omfattede honning, harpiks og røgelse.

Før mumificeringen udviklede sig, blev liget placeret i en sovende fosterstilling og lagt i en grube sammen med personlige genstande som lergryder og smykker. Gruben var dækket af sand, som absorberede alt vandet fra kroppen og bevarede det. Gravgrave blev til sidst beklædt med muddersten og overdækket, og den afdøde blev pakket ind i dyreskind eller begravet i keramik, kurv eller trækister. Med disse "forbedringer" blev forfaldet fremskyndet, fordi kroppen ikke længere kom i kontakt med det varme sand. For at løse dette problem blev afdødes indre organer fjernet, og tørremidler blev brugt til at mumiere kroppen.

Canopiske krukker. En af Horus 'fire sønner var repræsenteret på låget på hver krukke. Den menneskeskabte Imsety passede leveren Hapy, en bavian, vogtede lungerne Duamutef, en sjakal, beskyttede maven og Qebehsenuef, en falk, passede tarmene.
Royal Ontario Museum

Mumificeringspraksis begyndte i Egypten i 2400 f.Kr. og fortsatte ind i den græsk-romerske periode. Under det gamle rige blev det antaget, at kun faraoer kunne opnå udødelighed. Omkring 2000 f.Kr. ændrede holdningerne sig imidlertid: Alle kunne leve i efterverdenen, så længe kroppen blev mumificeret og de rigtige elementer blev placeret i graven. Men da mumificering var dyr, var det kun de velhavende, der kunne drage fordel af det. Selvom mumificering ikke var et strengt krav til opstandelse i den næste verden, blev det bestemt betragtet som et yderst ønskeligt middel til at opnå det. Bønnerne i De dødes bog havde til formål at hjælpe afdøde med at foretage en vellykket overgang til efterlivet.

Mumificeringskunsten blev perfektioneret i den tredje mellemperiode (1070-712 f.Kr.). Omkring 450 f.Kr. (Sen periode), den græske historiker Herodotus dokumenterede processen:

"Så meget af hjernen, som det er muligt, ekstraheres gennem næseborene med en jernkrog, og det, krogen ikke kan nå, opløses med medicin. Dernæst åbnes flanken åben ... og hele maveindholdet fjernes. Hulrummet renses derefter grundigt og vaskes ud ... Derefter fyldes det med ren knust myrra, cassia og alle andre aromatiske stoffer, undtagen røgelse. [Snittet] sys op, og derefter placeres kroppen i natron, dækket helt i 70 dage, aldrig længere. Når denne periode ... er slut, vaskes kroppen og derefter vikles fra hovedet til fødderne i linned, der er skåret i strimler og smurt på undersiden med tyggegummi, som almindeligvis bruges af egypterne i stedet for lim. "

Bob Brier, Egyptiske mumier

N atron, et desinfektions- og tørremiddel, var hovedingrediensen i mumificeringsprocessen. En forbindelse af natriumcarbonat og natriumbicarbonat (salt og bagepulver), natron tørrede i det væsentlige liget. Hentet fra udtørrede flodlejer, blev det pakket rundt og inde i kroppen i linnedposer og efterladt i 35 til 40 dage for at trække fugt ud af vævene. Ved at fjerne organerne og pakke det indre hulrum med tør natron blev kroppens væv bevaret. Kroppen var fyldt med Nilslam, savsmuld, lav og kludrester for at gøre det mere fleksibelt. Små madlavningsløg eller linnedpuder blev undertiden brugt til at erstatte øjnene. Begyndende i det tredje dynasti blev de indre organer (lunger, mave, lever og tarm) fjernet, vasket med palmevin og krydderier og opbevaret i fire separate canopiske krukker lavet af kalksten, calcit eller ler. Inden dette blev maveindholdet fjernet, pakket ind og begravet i gravens gulv. Hjertet blev imidlertid efterladt i kroppen, fordi det blev betragtet som intelligensens centrum.

  1. linned
  2. savsmuld
  3. lav
  4. bivoks
  5. harpiks
  6. natron
  7. løg
  8. Nilslam
  9. linnedunderlag
  10. røgelse

Liget blev derefter vasket, pakket ind i hør (op til 35 lag) og gennemblødt i harpikser og olier. Dette gav huden et sortnet udseende, der lignede tonehøjde. Udtrykket "mumificering" kommer fra det arabiske ord mummiya, hvilket betyder bitumen, et pitch -stof, der først blev brugt i konserveringsprocessen i den sene periode. Afdødes familie leverede gravlinned, der var lavet af gamle lagner eller brugt tøj.

I Mellemriget blev det almindelig praksis at placere en maske over den afdødes ansigt. Størstedelen af ​​disse var lavet af karton (papyrus eller linned belagt med gesso, en type gips), men træ og, i tilfælde af kongelige mumier, blev sølv og guld også brugt. Den mest berømte maske er Tutankhamons.

Mumie maske
Træ beklædt med malet gesso
500-300 f.Kr.
Canadian Museum of Civilization XXIV-C-63
Mumie maske
Støbt og malet linned
Royal Ontario Museum 910.15.3

De gamle balsamer brugte meget få værktøjer, og når deres arbejde var afsluttet, efterlod de dem nogle gange i eller i nærheden af ​​graven. Det grundlæggende værktøjskit inkluderede en kniv til at lave abdominal snit, kroge bronzestænger til at udtrække hjernemateriale, et trælignende værktøj til at fjerne indre organer og en tragt til at hælde harpikser ind i kraniehulen gennem næsen.

Egypterne mumificerede dyr såvel som mennesker - alt fra tyre og høge til ichneumoner og slanger. Nogle er fundet i store mængder, mens andre er sjældne. Mange arter blev rejst i templerne for at blive ofret til guderne. Obduktioner på katte viser, at de fleste havde fået halsbrud, da de var omkring to år. Katte var højt værdsatte medlemmer af den gamle egyptiske husstand. De ødelagde rotter og mus, der ellers ville angribe kornmagasiner, og hjalp med at jage fugle og fiske. I det nittende århundrede blev enorme mængder kattemumier sendt til England for at blive brugt som gødning.


Børn i Llullaillaco

Det Børn i Llullaillaco [1] (Spansk: [(ɟ) ʝuʝajˈʝako]), også kendt som Mumier fra Llullaillaco, er tre Inca -barnemumier opdaget den 16. marts 1999 af Johan Reinhard og hans arkæologiske team nær toppen af ​​Llullaillaco, en 6.739 m (22.110 fod) stratovulkan [2] på grænsen mellem Argentina og Chile. Børnene blev ofret i et inka -religiøst ritual, der fandt sted omkring år 1500. I dette ritual blev de tre børn bedøvet, [3] derefter placeret inde i et lille kammer 1,5 meter (4,9 fod) under jorden, hvor de blev efterladt at dø. [4] Ifølge Reinhard synes mumierne "at være de bedst bevarede inka -mumier, der nogensinde er fundet", og andre arkæologer har udtrykt den samme mening og kaldte dem blandt de bedst bevarede mumier i verden. [5] [6] [7]

Den 20. juni 2001 erklærede Argentinas nationale kommission for museer, monumenter og historiske steder, at børnene i Llullaillaco var Argentinas nationalhistoriske ejendom. [1] Siden 2007 har mumierne været udstillet i Museum of High Altitude Archaeology i den argentinske by Salta.

Inka -imperiet (Quechua: Tawantinsuyu, "De fire regioner"), var det største imperium i det præ-columbianske Amerika [8] og muligvis det største imperium i verden i begyndelsen af ​​1500-tallet. [9] Imperiet opstod i området omkring byen Cusco, højt i Andesbjergene i nutidens Peru, i 1200-tallet. Inka-civilisationen udvidede sig ikke meget geografisk før i midten af ​​1400-tallet. Imidlertid begyndte Inka under reglen om Pachacuti i 1438 at inka fejede i Sydamerika langs Andesbjergene, erobrede lokale folk undervejs og konsoliderede et massivt landimperium inden for et tidsrum på mindre end et århundrede. Inkariget nåede sit maksimale geografiske omfang omkring 1530, og begyndte derefter et hurtigt fald, der kulminerede med Cuscos fald i 1533, sammen med henrettelsen af ​​kejser Atahualpa. [10] ved at erobre spaniere.

Børneofring, omtalt som capacocha eller qhapaq hucha, var en vigtig del af Inca -religionen og blev ofte brugt til at mindes vigtige begivenheder, såsom død af en Sapa Inca. Menneskeofre blev også brugt som offer til guderne i hungersnødstider og som en måde at bede om beskyttelse. Offer kunne kun forekomme med direkte godkendelse af Inka -kejseren. [11] Børn blev valgt fra hele det spredte Inca -imperium og blev først og fremmest valgt ud fra deres "fysiske perfektion". Børn valgt til offer var generelt "sønner og døtre til adelige og lokale herskere". [11] De blev derefter taget hundredvis eller tusinder af miles til Cusco, hovedstaden, hvor de blev genstand for vigtige rensningsritualer. Derfra blev børnene sendt til høje bjergtoppe i hele imperiet for at blive ofret. Ifølge traditionel inka -opfattelse dør børn, der ofres, ikke rigtigt, men i stedet passer på landet fra deres bjergtoppestamme sammen med deres forfædre. [12] Inkaerne betragtede det som en stor ære at dø som et offer. [13]

Mange andre velbevarede mumier, såsom Mummy Juanita, er også fundet på Andes bjergtoppe. [5]

Llullaillaco er en stratovulkan 6.739 meter (22.110 fod) høj. [2] Det sidder i Andesbjergene på den moderne grænse, der adskiller Chile og Argentina. Gravstedet var dækket af fem fod jord og sten på tidspunktet for opdagelsen. [5] Stedet, hvor mumierne blev fundet, er blevet beskrevet som "verdens højeste arkæologiske sted".

Llullaillaco er i Atacama-ørkenen, den tørreste ikke-polare ørken på Jorden. [14] Luftens ekstreme tørhed er en væsentlig årsag til den fremragende bevarelse af mumierne i 500 år. [15] Tørhed og kolde temperaturer er begge kendt for væsentligt at reducere nedbrydningshastigheden af ​​menneskelige rester, [16] og de ekstreme miljøforhold på toppen af ​​Llullaillaco er derfor meget befordrende for bevarelse. [17]

I 1999 tog Johan Reinhard og hans team af forskere ud i de høje Andesbjergene for at søge efter Inca -ritualer til offer. Tre dage efter deres søgning opdagede Reinhards team et gravsted med tre mumificerede børn: to piger og en dreng. Flere guld-, skal- og sølvstatuer, tekstiler og keramik blev også fundet. Den yngre piges krop var blevet ramt af lyn efter hendes død, hvilket forårsagede forbrændingsskader på hendes krop, især hendes ansigt og skulder. De to andre mumier blev ikke påvirket. Statuer af ædle metaller og tekstiler var blandt de mange varer, der blev fundet i gravene. [5] [18]

Flere gange var ekspeditionen tæt på fiasko. Efter en lang akklimatiseringsproces, herunder en måned brugt på at udforske et bjerg med lavere højder i nærheden, nærmede holdet sig endelig toppen af ​​Llullaillaco efter at have etableret en række lejre under hele opstigningen. Under hele denne ekspedition trodsede forskerne hård vind på over 31 miles i timen (31 m/s) og ekstreme temperaturer, der på et tidspunkt nåede -40 ° C (-40 ° F). I deres sidste lejr, i en højde af 6.600 meter, brød en storm op og varede i fire dage. [19] Ifølge Reinhard var holdet "[ved] at give op", da de opdagede et kunstigt lag på stedet, der indikerede, at de skulle fortsætte undersøgelsen. Forskerne fulgte det kunstige lag, som til sidst førte dem til begravelsen af ​​en af ​​mumierne. [5]

Tre mumier blev fundet på Llullaillaco gravstedet: la doncella (jomfruen), la niña del rayo (lynpigen) og el niño (drengen). Når de var på toppen af ​​bjerget, fik de lov til at falde i søvn og derefter anbragt i en lille grav 1,5 meter (4,9 fod) under jorden, hvor de blev efterladt til at dø. [6] [17] Derudover blev de fodret med en proteinrig diæt, før de blev ofret. [ citat nødvendig ]

Mumierne var i exceptionel stand, da de blev fundet. Reinhard sagde, at mumierne "ser ud til at være de bedst bevarede inka -mumier, der nogensinde er fundet", og sagde desuden, at armene var perfekt bevarede, selv ned til de enkelte hår. De indre organer var stadig intakte, og et af hjerterne indeholdt stadig frosset blod. Fordi mumierne frøs, før dehydrering kunne forekomme, fandt udtørring og indsnævring af organerne, der er typiske for udsatte menneskelige rester, aldrig sted. [5]

La doncella Redigere

Den ældste mumie, en pige, der var omkring femten år gammel, blev døbt la doncella. Hun er blevet bredt kendt som "Maiden of Llullaillaco". En bakteriel infektion blev opdaget i hendes lunger under en undersøgelse. Hun bar en kjole med håret omhyggeligt flettet sammen med en fjer-prydet hovedbeklædning. [20] DNA -test indikerede, at de to piger var halvsøstre, mens drengen ikke var i familie. [21] Hun døde i søvne, en skæbne delt med de andre børn. [18] [21] [22]

Det menes, at La Doncella var en aclla, eller Sun Virgin - hun var en jomfru, valgt og helliget i en alder af omkring ti år for at bo sammen med andre piger og kvinder, der ville blive kongelige koner, præster og ofre. Udøvelsen af ​​rituelle ofre i inkasamfundet var beregnet til at sikre sundhed, rige høst og gunstigt vejr. [23]

La niña del rayo Redigere

La niña del rayo var cirka seks år gammel, da hun blev ofret. [21] Hendes ansigt, et af hendes ører og en del af hendes skulder blev beskadiget af et lynnedslag, der opstod efter hendes død. [5] Hendes hoved blev løftet højt, og hun vendte mod sydvest. Hun var iført en traditionel lysebrun acsu kjole, og hendes hoved var sammen med en del af hendes krop pakket ind i et tykt uldtæppe. Derudover var hele hendes krop pakket ind i et andet tæppe, dette et broderi af rødt og gult. Hendes kranium ser ud til at være forsætligt forlænget. [24]

La niña del rayo synes at være blevet behandlet mindre groft end el niño, men uden den omhu, hvormed la doncella blev behandlet. [25]

El niño Redigere

Kroppen af el niño, som var omkring syv år gammel, da han blev ofret, var blevet tæt pakket ind, da nogle af hans ribben og bækken blev forvredet. Han døde tilsyneladende under stress, da der blev fundet opkast og blod på hans tøj. Der syntes også at være et angreb af nits i hans hår. [26] Han var det eneste barn, der blev bundet. Liggende i fosterstilling var han iført en grå tunika, et sølvarmbånd og lædersko og var blevet pakket ind i et rødt og brunt tæppe. [27] Kraniet af el niño havde været lidt langstrakt, på samme måde som den af la niña del rayo. [24] På grund af den måde, hvorpå han blev bundet, menes det, at han kan være død af kvælning. [20]

El niño blev begravet med en samling små genstande, nogle af dem skildrede fint klædte mænd, der kørte campingvogne med lamaer. En uldslynge blev viklet omkring hans hovedstropper blev brugt af mænd i en rituel aktivitet til at skyde sten i lagunerne i slutningen af ​​den tørre sæson for at fremskynde regnen. [24]

Ifølge en biokemisk analyse af la doncella's hår blev børnene bedøvet med alkohol og coca inden offerritualet begyndte. La Doncella var blevet bedøvet af kokablade og en majsøl kendt som chicha. Selvom alle tre ofre indtog betydelige mængder af disse stoffer før ritualet, viser en hårprøve -analyse det la doncella indtog betydeligt mere coca og alkohol end begge el niño eller la niña del rayo. [25] Hendes hår indeholdt den højeste koncentration af coca, der nogensinde er fundet i andinske menneskelige rester. [28]

Mumierne forbliver udstillet på Museum of High Altitude Archaeology [es], et museum udelukkende dedikeret til fremvisning af mumierne, i Salta, Argentina. Området, der nu indeholder byen Salta, var en del af Inkariget i slutningen af ​​1400'erne og begyndelsen af ​​1500'erne, inden det blev erobret af spansk conquistadores i slutningen af ​​1500 -tallet. For at forhindre forringelse opretholder et computerstyret klimasystem de miljømæssige forhold, der ligner dem på Llullaillaco. Hvis et jordskælv eller en anden nødsituation skulle resultere i tab af strøm, ville provinsguvernørens fly blive brugt til at flyve mumierne til et andet sted, hvor de ville kunne "sættes tilbage". Museet åbnede dørene for offentligheden i begyndelsen af ​​september 2007. [12]

Inden opførelsen af ​​museets udstilling var mumierne blevet beskyttet af det katolske universitet i Salta [es]. [27] At udvikle en måde at vise mumierne til offentligheden, mens de bevares perfekt bevaret, tog otte års forskning. [12]

Mumierne har været genstand for kontroverser, især med hensyn til oprindelige rettigheder. Udgravning og fremvisning af ligene modsættes nogle oprindelige mennesker. [19]

Rogelio Guanuco, lederen for Indigenous Association of Argentina (AIRA), kaldte skærmen "en krænkelse af vores kære" og sagde, at "Llullaillaco fortsat er hellig for os. De skulle aldrig have vanhelliget det helligdom, og det burde de ikke sætte vores børn på udstilling som i et cirkus. " [29] Fermín Tolaba, chef for Lules, sagde, at mumierne "skulle have opholdt sig på deres område", og at "nu hvor [mumierne] allerede er opgravet, [museet] skulle returnere dem. Det er ikke godt, at museet tjener penge med det, opkræver entré for noget, der ikke hører til. " [27]

Det høje Andes -område, hvorfra mumierne blev taget, menes at være hjemsted for mindst 40 andre lignende rituelle gravsteder. For at "have gode relationer til det indiske folk" vil der imidlertid ikke blive fjernet flere mumier fra området, ifølge Gabriel Miremont, designeren og direktøren for Museum of High Altitude Archaeology, der er vært for udstillingen, der viser mumierne. [12] Andre oprindelige folk støttede imidlertid forskningen. Den tredje verdenskongres i Quechua -sproget i slutningen af ​​2004 samlede 300 repræsentanter fra Andes -lande, og kongressen vedtog ved sin afslutning en resolution "Kongressen godkender støtte til undersøgelser af Llullaillaco -børnene (Salta, Argentina) og spredning af sådanne undersøgelser for at anerkende storheden og udviklingen af ​​vores forfædre fra deres oprindelse til i dag. " [30]

Nogle indfødte ledere har desuden udtrykt bekymring for, at de ikke vil modtage nogen af ​​de økonomiske fordele, som mumierne viser. [31]


En kort historie om at blive begravet i live

Forestil dig, at du har en sjælden lidelse, ikke ulig epilepsi, der får dit hjerte til at bremse til næsten stille. Forestil dig, at du mørklægger en dag og vågner i mørke i en lille æske, duften af ​​fyrretræ og cement tung i dine næsebor. Du skriger, men ingen kan høre dig. Du skubber i toppen af ​​kassen, men det springer muligvis ikke. Din vejrtrækning bliver hurtigere. Det går langsomt op for dig, og du kan blive begravet levende.  

Og du & aposre langt fra den første person, som dette nogensinde er sket for.  

Mumierne i Mexico

Ligesom alle de 119 mumier i El Museo de las Mumias blev Ignacia Aguilar offer for en koleraepidemi, der fejede Guanajuato, Mexico i 1833. Afdøde blev begravet hurtigt for at forhindre spredning af sygdom i overjordiske mausoleer. Tyve år senere afmonterede den lokale regering nogle af ligene og opdagede, at de kunne være naturligt mumificerede. I dag er mumierne udstillet i det svagt oplyste museum og aposs glaskasser, hvor de står oprejst mod en væg.

Men historien om en mumie, der hedder  Ignacia, er skræmmende. Hendes hænder er ballet sammen over hendes hjerte. Hendes venstre albue peger nedad. Ved første øjekast ser det ud til at hendes hoved hviler på hendes forhøjede højre arm. Ved nærmere eftersyn graves Ignacia & aposs tænder ned i underarmen. Ridser på neglene løber hakkede i alle retninger hen over hendes pande, og det lille af hendes mund, der er synligt under højre arm, er tættet med tørret blod. Hendes lig blev opdaget med forsiden nedad i kisten. Ingen tvivl om det. Ignacia Aguilar blev begravet levende.

Forskere spekulerer på, at den gennemsnitlige person kan overleve mellem en og 18 timer i en moderne kiste, afhængigt af kropsstørrelse.

Optegnelser indikerer, at Ignacia var epileptisk og led af en sjælden samtidig lidelse, der sænkede hendes puls så meget, at det slet ikke syntes at slå. Forestil dig, at den unge pige vågner, fanget mellem en begrænset lufttilførsel og evigheden midt i duften af ​​fyrretræ og cement. Forskere spekulerer på, at den gennemsnitlige person kan overleve mellem en og 18 timer i en moderne kiste, afhængigt af kropsstørrelse. Det er umuligt at gætte, hvor længe lille Ignacia i et mausoleum fra det 19. århundrede holdt ud. Uanset hvor lang tid det tog, var det svært at forstå en værre vej. Måske flækket af sovjetisk infanteri.

Lev begravelse som straf

Siden antikken har for tidlig begravelse været anvendt som middel til dødsstraf i forskellige nationer. I det gamle Rom blev vestale jomfruer, der brød deres cølibatløfter, neddæmmet i små huler. Ditto for voldtagere af jomfruer. I middelalderens Tyskland var levende begravelse forbeholdt kvinder, der begik barnemord. I middelalderens Italien blev ubarmhjertige mordere begravet levende, først med fødderne stukkende over jorden. Under dansk lov fra 1200 -tallet var levende begravelse udførelsen af ​​valg for kvindelige tyve. Mandstyve blev halshugget, hvilket naturligvis er at foretrække.

Kvinder, der dræbte deres ægtemænd i det feudale Rusland, blev begravet levende i et helligt drabsted kendt som The Pit. Det & aposs sagde, at Druid St. Oran tilbød at blive begravet levende som et offer for at forvise djævelen fra at blande sig med opførelsen af ​​et nyt kloster. Engang senere blev hans stadig levende krop gravet op, men da Oran talte om at besøge et efterliv uden himmel eller helvede, blev han genbegravet for godt.

Der er adskillige moderne   -eksempler på massebegravelser under krigen. Japanske soldater begravede kinesiske krigsfanger i Nanking. Nazisterne begravede  shtetl ældste i Hviderusland og Ukraine. I Killing Fields. Under det store spring fremad. Sidste år begravede ISIS -militante grupper af yazidiske kvinder og børn i live i Irak.

Frygtelige dødsfald alle sammen. Men noget ved den utilsigtede for tidlige begravelse rammer endnu større terror, måske fordi det er en morder med lige muligheder. Det gør en fuldstændig magtesløs og har overraskelseselementet. Den lejlighedsvise hændelse af et åndedrætslegeme, der væltede fra en kiste, der faldt af en ulykkelig pallbærer eller et skrigende lig på balsameringsbordet, lagde en vis frygt for tidlig begravelse i æteren siden mindst 1. århundrede e.Kr.Den eneste bemærkelsesværdige registrerede sag tidligere til 1800 -tallet var filosofen John Duns Scotus, hvis lig blev fundet uden for hans kiste ved genåbningen af ​​hans grav. Men begyndelsen i slutningen af ​​1700 -tallet blev frygten mere udbredt og toppede i 1890 & aposs, da den italienske psykiater Enrico Morselli gav den et navn: Taphephobia.

George Washington ville, at hans lig ikke skulle begraves i to dage efter hans død, for en sikkerheds skyld. En gruppe victorianere organiserede The Society for the Prevention of People Being Buried Alive i 1896. En række ȁSikkerhedskister ” blev opfundet i l880 & aposs. Den ene, patenteret i 1882 af den amerikanske opfinder J.G. Krichbaum havde et periskop, der kunne åbnes inde fra kisten for at levere luft og signalere, at der var begået en fejl. I 1885, New York Times rapporterede, at en “Jenkins ” i Buncombe County blev opdaget vendt på siden i hans kiste, og alt hans hår blev flået fra hans hovedbund.

Et år senere rapporterede papiret om en canadisk pige ved navn 𠇌ollins ”, der blev fundet i hendes kiste med knæene stukket mod hagen. Sydkarolinske Julia Legare blev placeret i familiekrypten i 1852. Da hendes bror døde 15 år senere, blev krypten genåbnet, og resterne af Julia blev fundet i en bunke ved foden af ​​indgangen. Så sent som i 1895 er der rapporter om mennesker, der blev opdaget i live i lighuset. En af de lykkeligere sager vedrører Eleanor Markham, en 22-årig kvinde i New York, der blev hørt bankende på taget af hendes kiste, da den blev trukket fra ligvognen i 1894. Hendes læge skyndte sig at hjælpe hende og sagde: &# x201CHush barn. Du har det godt. Det er en missiv, der let kan rettes op. ”

Estimater på, hvor almindeligt folk blev begravet for tidligt i forrige århundrede forud, varierer meget. I 1905 opstillede reformator William Tebb 219 beretninger om nærliggende begravelse, 149 af faktiske levende begravelser og 10 tilfælde af utilsigtet levende dissektion på obduktionsbordet.

Hvorfor synes rapporten om levende begravelse at accelerere mod slutningen af ​​det sidste århundrede? Svaret er lige så fantasmagorisk som selve 1800 -tallet.

Live-begravelsesepidemien

Hvorfor begynder rapporterne om for tidlig begravelse, bortset fra Scotus, dog ikke at blive vist regelmæssigt før sidst i det 18. og begyndelsen af ​​det 19. århundrede, og hvorfor ser det ud til at de accelererer mod slutningen af ​​det sidste århundrede? Svaret er lige så fantasmagorisk som selve 1800 -tallet, den sammenflydning af videnskabelig opdagelse, massjournalistikkens fremgang og gotisk litteraturs profetiske tendenser. Grunden til det århundrede bød på en underlig jord, der spirede nye bekymringer fra den dødelige verdenshistoriske.


Hvor svært var det at udføre selvmumificering?

Selvmumificering var en kompliceret proces, og de færreste der forsøgte det lykkedes. Mange omkom før deres begravelser. Ishinkai (d. 1831) døde, før han gennemførte en 2000-dages kornfast, og Zenkai (d. 1856) kom ikke igennem 1.000 dage.

The hand-scroll of a monk called Testusenkai, which commemorates a 2,000-day fast. (Credit: Ken Jeremiah)

Besides those who died, others changed their minds during the lengthy auto-mummification process. It is a difficult thing to plan one’s own death through years of self-imposed torture. Only truly unique individuals could have the dedication and focus needed to attain this incredible goal.

Of the many people who attempted the process, approximately 30 were successful. Seventeen of their bodies are extant, and ten are still enshrined in northern Japanese temples. They include Togashi Kichihyoei (1623-1681), a samurai retainer who became a priest and took the religious name Honmyokai, and the farmer Shindo Nizaemon (1688-1783), who became Shinnyokai.


Live mummification - History


Introduction and Slide Show Index

The British Museum of London, England, has the largest and most comprehensive collection of ancient Egyptian material outside of Cairo. Its spectacular collection consists of more than 100,000 objects. Displays include a gallery of monumental sculpture and the internationally famous collection of mummies and coffins.

Egyptian objects have formed part of the collections of the British Museum since its beginning. The original start of the Museum was to provide a home for objects left to the nation by Sir Hans Sloane when he died in 1753, about 150 of which were from Egypt.

European interest in Egypt began to grow in earnest after the invasion of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1798, particularly since Napoleon included scholars in his expedition who recorded a great deal about the ancient and mysterious country. After the British defeated the French in 1801, many antiquities which the French had collected were confiscated by the British Army and presented to the British Museum in the name of King George III in 1803. The most famous of these was the Rosetta Stone.

After Napoleon, Egypt came under the control of Mohammed Ali, who was determined to open the country to foreigners. As a result, European officials residing in Egypt began collecting antiquities. Britain's consul was Henry Salt, who amassed two collections which eventually formed an important core of the British Museum collection, and was supplemented by the purchase of a number of papyri.

Antiquities from excavations also came into the Museum in the later 1800's as a result of the work of the Egypt Exploration Fund (now Society). A major source of antiquities came from the efforts of E.A. Wallis Budge (Keeper 1886 -1924), who regularly visited Egypt and built up a wide-ranging collection of papyri and funerary material.

In May of 2003, the British Museum signed a landmark five-year collaborative agreement with the Bowers Museum of Santa Ana, California, to showcase its incredible collections and to provide a service to visitors and especially students who aren’t able to travel to Britain. In April 2005, the Bowers Museum thus presented "Mummies: Death and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt" featuring a spectacular collection of 140 objects from the British Museum. For your enjoyment, The History Place presents a slide show highlighting 14 items from the Bowers Museum exhibition.

About Egyptian Mummies

Mummies are one of the most characteristic aspects of ancient Egyptian culture. The preservation of the body was an essential part of the Egyptian funerary belief and practice.

Mummification seems to have its origins in the late Predynastic period (over 3000 BC) when specific parts of the body were wrapped, such as the face and hands. It has been suggested that the process developed to reproduce the desiccating (drying) effects of the hot dry sand on a body buried within it.


The best literary account of the mummification process is given by the Ancient Greek historian Herodotus, who says that the entire process took 70 days. The internal organs, apart from the heart and kidneys, were removed via a cut in the left side. The organs were dried and wrapped, and placed in canopic jars, or later replaced inside the body. The brain was removed, often through the nose, and discarded. Bags of natron or salt were packed both inside and outside the body, and left for forty days until all the moisture had been removed. The body was then cleansed with aromatic oils and resins and wrapped with bandages, often household linen torn into strips.

In recent times, scientific analysis of mummies, by X-rays, CT scans, endoscopy and other processes has revealed a wealth of information about how individuals lived and died. It has been possible to identify medical conditions such as lung cancer, osteoarthritis and tuberculosis, as well as parasitic disorders such as schistosomiasis (bilharzia).

The earliest ancient Egyptians buried their dead in small pits in the desert. The heat and dryness of the sand dehydrated the bodies quickly, creating lifelike and natural 'mummies' as seen here.

Later, the ancient Egyptians began burying their dead in coffins to protect them from wild animals in the desert.

However, they realized that bodies placed in coffins decayed because they were not exposed to the hot, dry sand of the desert.

Over many centuries, the ancient Egyptians developed a method of preserving bodies so they would remain lifelike.

The process included embalming the bodies and wrapping them in strips of linen. Today, we call this process mummification.

Egyptian amulets (ornamental charms) were worn by both the living and the dead. Some protected the wearer against specific dangers and others endowed him or her with special characteristics, such as strength or fierceness.

Amulets were often in the shape of animals, plants, sacred objects, or hieroglyphic symbols. The combination of shape, color and material were important to the effectiveness of an amulet.

Papyri (Egyptian scrolls) show that amulets were used in medicine, often in conjunction with poultices (a medicated dressing, often applied hot) or other preparations, and the recitation of spells. Sometimes, the papyri on which the spells were written could also act as amulets, and were folded up and worn by the owner.

One of the most widely worn protective amulets was the wedjat eye: the restored eye of Horus. It was worn by the living, and often appeared on rings and as an element of necklaces. It was also placed on the body of the deceased during the mummification process to protect the incision through which the internal organs were removed.

Several of the spells in the Book of the Dead were intended to be spoken over specific amulets, which were then placed in particular places on the body of the deceased.

The scarab (beetle) was an important funerary amulet, associated with rebirth, and the heart scarab amulet prevented the heart from speaking out against the deceased.

Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt

The ancient Egyptians believed in many different gods and goddesses -- each one with their own role to play in maintaining peace and harmony across the land.

Some gods and goddesses took part in creation, some brought the flood every year, some offered protection, and some took care of people after they died. Others were either local gods who represented towns, or minor gods who represented plants or animals.

Ancient Egyptians believed that it was important to recognize and worship these gods and goddesses so that life continued smoothly.

Egyptian Shabti Figures:
Servants in the Afterlife

Shabti figures developed from the servant figures common in tombs of the Middle Kingdom (about 2040-1782 BC). They were shown as mummified like the deceased, with their own coffin, and were inscribed with a spell to provide food for their master or mistress in the afterlife.

From the New Kingdom (about 1550-1070 BC) onward, the deceased was expected to take part in the maintenance of the 'Field of Reeds,' where he or she would live for eternity. This meant undertaking agricultural labor, such as plowing, sowing, and reaping the crops.

The shabti figure became regarded as a servant figure that would carry out heavy work on behalf of the deceased. The figures were still mummiform (in the shape of mummies), but now held agricultural implements such as hoes. They were inscribed with a spell which made them answer when the deceased was called to work. The name 'shabti' means 'answerer.'

From the end of the New Kingdom, anyone who could afford to do so had a workman for every day of the year, complete with an overseer figure for each gang of ten laborers. This gave a total of 401 figures, though many individuals had several sets. These vast collections of figures were often of extremely poor quality, uninscribed and made of mud rather than the faience which had been popular in the New Kingdom.

All images reproduced by permission of the Trustees of the British Museum. Informational text provided by the British Museum.

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Mummification in Ancient Egypt

Mummification, practiced by the ancient Egyptians, was used to preserve the body for the purpose of keeping the soul, or “ka”, intact for the journey through the Afterlife. Because of the obvious religious implications behind mummification, the process was a long one performed by a team of embalmers and priests who completed specific steps, along with prayers and rituals that would have guaranteed that the deceased would have enjoyed life beyond Earth. Along with the spirituality that surrounded mummification, there was a real science involved, one that was perfected by the Ancient Egyptians over the course of 2,000 years. The Egyptians took advantage of their geography, a dry and arid climate that was perfect for decelerating the decay of a dead body, and used natural resources to preserve the remains of pharaohs, nobleman, and even sacred animals. Egyptologists and researchers excavate and examine mummies today that are over 3,000 years old, some preserved well enough to determine specific information about the individual, including genetic lineage, diseases suffered, even diet.

The actual process of mummification evolved over time, along with advancements in Egyptian technology and medicine. Mummification began in earnest during the Old Kingdom (around 2600 B.C.), and the best preserved mummies are found to have been made between 1500 and 1075 B.C., during the New Kingdom.

Preparing a mummy took seventy days. The process involved embalming, removing internal organs, treating the body with chemicals, and wrapping the body. This was performed by special priests that worked to embalm and preserve the body, and perform the correct rituals that would insure the body would remain intact in the afterlife.

To begin the mummification process, all internal organs were removed from the body. The internal organs decompose quickly after death, so removing them would have been most prudent in the preservation process. The brain (thought to have no real purpose to the Egyptians), for example, was removed through the nose, using a long needle-like instrument. The remaining organs were removed through an incision in the stomach and chest. The only organ to remain in the body was the heart, thought to be the center of thought and emotion.

Once the organs were removed, they were embalmed and placed in special clay containers known as canopic jars. Each jar held a special purpose and significance, and would have been buried with the mummy. In later mummies, the mummified organs were replaced inside the body. Canopic jars would still be buried with the mummies, though.

The mummy of pharaoh Ramses III

Once the organs were removed and taken care of, all moisture needed to be removed from the body. This was accomplished by covering the body with a type of salt called natron. Embalmers would also place packs of natron inside the body cavity. It took forty to fifty days for the body to dry out completely, and all that was left was skin, hair, and bones. At this point, the embalmers removed the packs of natron, and washed all natron off the body. Embalmers would then fill in any sunken body areas with linen or sawdust to make the body seem more “alive”.

The final step in the mummification process was to wrap the body. This required hundreds of yards of linen, which were meticulously wrapped by priests around the entire body, often individual fingers and toes. Warm resin coated the linen every few layers in order to promote preservation, followed by more layers. Among layers were placed several charms and amulets, including a scarab beetle over the heart. These were meant to protect the mummy from harm in his journey into the Afterlife.

After wrapping was completed, the mummy was finished. A mask was placed on the face of the mummy, and it was placed in a sarcophagus. It was then time for the funeral and burial, which was often in an elaborate pyramid or tomb. The tomb would have contained furniture, food, riches, and prayers that would keep the deceased busy and happy in the Afterlife.

The process of mummification was a science perfected over time by the Egyptians. Owing much to their arid climate and abundance of resources like salt, the Egyptians were able to preserve the deceased, and prepare the dead for their next journey, into the Afterlife.


Mummification

5. The dried organs were wrapped in linen and placed in canopic jars. The lid of each jar was shaped to represent one of Horus’ four sons.

6. The body was cleaned and the dried skin rubbed with oil.

7. The body was packed with sawdust and rags and the open cuts sealed with wax

8. The body was wrapped in linen bandages. About 20 layers were used and this took 15 to 20 days.

9. A death mask was placed over the bandages

10. The bandaged body was placed in a shroud (a large sheet of cloth) which was secured with linen strips.

11. The body was then placed in a decorated mummy case or coffin.

Through this process, mummies were interred into their tombs. Archeologists continue to find them at excavation sites throughout areas of ancient Egyptian settlement.

Denne artikel er en del af vores større udvalg af indlæg om Egypten i den antikke verden. For at lære mere, klik her for vores omfattende guide til det gamle Egypten.


Ancient Egyptian Mortuary Rituals

Ever since European archaeologists began excavating in Egypt in the 18th and 19th centuries CE, the ancient culture has been largely associated with death. Even into the mid-20th century CE reputable scholars were still writing on the death-obsessed Egyptians whose lives were lacking in play and without joy. Mummies in dark, labyrinthine tombs, strange rituals performed by dour priests, and the pyramid tombs of the kings remain the most prominent images of ancient Egypt in many people's minds even in the present day, and an array of over 2,000 deities - many of them uniquely associated with the afterlife - simply seems to add to the established vision of the ancient Egyptians as obsessed with death. Actually, though, they were fully engaged in life, so much so that their afterlife was considered an eternal continuation of their time on earth.

When someone died in ancient Egypt the funeral was a public event which allowed the living to mourn the passing of a member of the community and enabled the deceased to move on from the earthly plane to the eternal. Although there were outpourings of grief and deep mourning over the loss of someone they loved, they did not believe the dead person had ceased to exist they had merely left the earth for another realm.

Reklame

In order to make sure they reached their destination safely, the Egyptians developed elaborate mortuary rituals to preserve the body, free the soul, and send it on its way. These rituals encouraged the healthy expression of grief among the living but concluded with a feast celebrating the life of the deceased and his or her departure, emphasizing how death was not the end but only a continuation. Egyptologist Helen Strudwick notes, "for the life-loving Egyptians, the guarantee of continuing life in the netherworld was immensely important" (190). The mortuary rituals provided the people with just that sort of guarantee.

Early Rituals & Burial

The earliest burials in ancient Egypt were simple graves in which the deceased was placed, on the left side, accompanied by some grave goods. It is clear there was already a belief in some kind of afterlife prior to c. 3500 BCE when mummification began to be practiced but no written record of what form this belief took. Simple graves in the Predynastic Period in Egypt (c. 6000 - c. 3150 BCE) evolved into the mastaba tombs of the Early Dynastic Period (c. 3150 - c. 2613 BCE) which then became the grand pyramids of the Old Kingdom (c. 2613-2181 BCE). All of these periods believed in an afterlife and engaged in mortuary rituals, but those of the Old Kingdom are the best known from images on tombs.

Reklame

By the time of the Old Kingdom of Egypt, the culture had a clear understanding of how the universe worked and humanity's place in it. The gods had created the world and the people in it through the agency of magic (heka) and sustained it through magic as well. All the world was imbued with mystical life generated by the gods who would welcome the soul when it finally left the earth for the afterlife. In order for the soul to make this journey, the body it left behind needed to be carefully preserved, and this is why mummification became such an integral part of the mortuary rituals. Although it is usually thought that everyone in Egypt was mummified after their death, the practice was expensive, and usually only the upper class and nobility could afford it.

In the Old Kingdom the kings were buried in their pyramid tombs, but from the First Intermediate Period of Egypt (2181-2040 BCE) onwards, kings and nobles favored tombs cut into rock face or into the earth. By the time of the New Kingdom (c. 1570-1069 BCE) the tombs and the rituals leading to burial had reached their highest state of development. There were three methods of embalming/funerary ritual available: the most expensive and elaborate, a second, cheaper option which still allowed for much of the first, and a third which was even cheaper and afforded little of the attention to detail of the first. The following rituals and embalming methods described are those of the first, most elaborate option, which was performed for royalty and the specific rituals are those observed in the New Kingdom of Egypt.

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The Preparations

After death, the body was brought to the embalmers where the priests washed and purified it. The mortuary priest then removed those organs which would decay most quickly and destroy the body. In early mummification, the organs of the abdomen and the brain were placed in canopic jars which were thought to be watched over by the guardian gods known as The Four Sons of Horus. In later times the organs were taken out, treated, wrapped, and placed back into the body, but canopic jars were still placed in tombs, and The Four Sons of Horus were still thought to keep watch over the organs.

The embalmers removed the organs from the abdomen through a long incision cut into the left side for the brain, they would insert a hooked surgical tool up through the dead person's nose and pull the brain out in pieces. There is also evidence of embalmers breaking the nose to enlarge the space to get the brain out more easily. Breaking the nose was not the preferred method, though, because it could disfigure the face of the deceased and the primary goal of mummification was to keep the body intact and preserved as life-like as possible. The removal of the organs and brain was all about drying out the body - the only organ they left in place was the heart because that was thought to be the seat of the person's identity. This was all done because the soul needed to be freed from the body to continue on its eternal journey into the afterlife and, to do so, it needed to have an intact 'house' to leave behind and also one it would recognize if it wished to return to visit.

Reklame

After the removal of the organs, the body was soaked in natron for 70 days and then washed and purified again. It was then carefully wrapped in linen a process which could take up to two weeks. Egyptologen Margaret Bunson forklarer:

This was an important aspect of the mortuary process, accompanied by incantations, hymns, and ritual ceremonies. In some instances the linens taken from shrines and temples were provided to the wealthy or aristocratic deceased in the belief that such materials had special graces and magical powers. An individual mummy would require approximately 445 square yards of material. Throughout the wrappings semiprecious stones and amulets were placed in strategic positions, each one guaranteed to protect a certain region of the human anatomy in the afterlife. (176)

Among the most important of these amulets was the one which was placed over the heart. This was done to prevent the heart from bearing witness against the deceased when the moment of judgment came. Since the heart was the seat of individual character, and since it was obvious that people often made statements they later regretted, it was considered important to have a charm to prevent that possibility.

The Funeral Procession & Service

The embalmers would then return the mummy to the family who would have had a coffin or sarcophagus made. The corpse would not be placed in the coffin yet, however, but would be laid on a bier and then moved toward a waiting boat on the Nile River. This was the beginning of the funeral service which started in the early morning, usually departing either from a temple of the king or the embalmer's center. The servants and poorer relations of the deceased were at the front of the procession carrying flowers and food offerings. They were followed by others carrying grave goods such as clothing and shabti dolls, favorite possessions of the deceased, and other objects which would be necessary in the afterlife.

Reklame

Directly in front of the corpse would be professional mourners, women known as the Kites of Nephthys, whose purpose was to encourage others to express their grief. The kites would wail loudly, beat their breasts, strike their heads on the ground, and scream in pain. These women were dressed in the color of mourning and sorrow, a blue-gray, and covered their faces and hair with dust and earth. This was a paid position, and the wealthier the deceased, the more kites would be present in the procession. A scene from the tomb of the pharaoh Horemheb (1320-1292 BCE) of the New Kingdom vividly depicts the Kites of Nephthys at work as they wail and fling themselves to the ground.

In the Early Dynastic Period in Egypt, the servants would have been killed upon reaching the tomb so that they could continue to serve the deceased in the afterlife. By the time of the New Kingdom, this practice had long been abandoned and an effigy now took the place of the servants known as a tekenu. Like the shabti dolls, which one would magically animate in the afterlife to perform work, the tekenu would later come to life, in the same way, to serve the soul in paradise.

Reklame

The corpse and the tekenu were followed by priests, and when they reached the eastern bank of the Nile, the tekenu and the oxen who had pulled the corpse were ritually sacrificed and burned. The corpse was then placed on a mortuary boat along with two women who symbolized the goddesses Isis and Nephthys. This was in reference to the Osiris myth in which Osiris is killed by his brother Set and returned to life by his sister-wife Isis and her sister Nephthys. In life, the king was associated with the son of Osiris and Isis, Horus, but in death, with the Lord of the Dead, Osiris. The women would address the dead king as the goddesses speaking to Osiris.

The boat sailed from the east side (representing life) to the west (the land of the dead) where it docked and the body was then moved to another bier and transported to its tomb. A priest would have already arranged to have the coffin or sarcophagus set up at the entrance of the tomb, and at this point, the corpse was placed inside of it. The priest would then perform the Opening of the Mouth Ceremony during which he would touch the corpse at various places on the body in order to restore the senses so the deceased could again see, hear, smell, taste, and talk.

During this ceremony, the two women representing Isis and Nephthys would recite The Lamentations of Isis and Nephthys, the call-and-response incantation which re-created the moment when Osiris had been brought back to life by the sisters. The lid was then fastened on the coffin and it was carried into the tomb. The tomb would have the deceased's name written in it, statues and pictures of him or her in life, and inscriptions on the wall (Pyramid Texts) telling the story of their life and providing instructions for the afterlife. Prayers would be made for the soul of the deceased and grave goods would be arranged around the coffin after this, the tomb would be sealed.

The family was expected to provide for the continued existence of the departed by bringing them food and drink offerings and remembering their name. If a family found this too burdensome, they hired a priest (known as a Ka-Servant) to perform the duties and rituals. Lists of food and drink to be brought were inscribed on the tomb (Offering Lists) as well as an autobiography of the departed so they would be remembered. The soul would continue to exist peacefully in the next life (following justification) as long as these offerings were made.

The priests, family, and guests would then sit down for a feast to celebrate the life of the departed and his forward journey to paradise. This celebration took place outside of the tomb under a tent erected for the purpose. Food, beer, and wine would have been brought earlier and was now served as an elaborate picnic banquet. The deceased would be honored with the kind of festival he or she would have known and enjoyed in life. When the party concluded, the guests would return to their homes and go on with life.

Journey to the Afterlife

For the soul of the departed, however, a new life had just begun. Following the mortuary rituals and the closing of the tomb, the soul was thought to wake in the body and feel disoriented. Inscriptions on the wall of the tomb, like the Pyramid Texts, or in one's coffin, as with the Kiste tekster, would remind the soul of its life on earth and direct it to leave the body and move forward. These texts were replaced in the New Kingdom of Egypt by the De dødes bog. One of the gods, most often Anubis, would appear to lead the soul forth toward the Hall of Truth (also known as The Hall of Two Truths) where it would be judged.

Depictions of the judgment frequently show a long line of souls waiting for their moment to appear before Osiris and these are cared for by deities like Qebhet, who provided them with cool, refreshing water. Familiar goddesses like Nephthys, Isis, Neith, and Serket would also be there to comfort and encourage the soul.

When one's time came, one would move forward to where Osiris, Anubis, and Thoth stood by the scales of justice and would recite the Negative Confessions, a ritual list of sins one could honestly say one had not committed. At this point one's heart was weighed in the balance against the white feather of truth if one's heart was lighter than the feather, one was justified, and if not, the heart was dropped to the floor where it was eaten by the monster Amut and the soul would then cease to exist.

If one had been justified by the weighing of the heart, Osiris, Thoth, and Anubis would confer with the Forty-two Judges and then allow one to pass on toward paradise. This next part of the journey takes different forms depending on different texts and time periods. In some versions, the soul must still avoid pitfalls, demons, and dangers, and required the assistance of a guide book such as Den egyptiske dødsbog. In other depictions, once one had been justified, one went to the shores of Lily Lake where a final test had to be passed.

The ferryman was an eternally unpleasant man named Hraf-hef to whom the soul needed to be kind and gracious. If one passed this final test, one was rowed across the lake to paradise in the Field of Reeds. Here the soul would find everything and everyone thought to be lost through death. Those who had passed on before would be waiting as well as one's favorite pets. The house the soul had loved while alive, the neighborhood, friends, all would be waiting and the soul would enjoy this life eternally without the threat of loss and in the company of the immortal gods. This final paradise, however, was only possible if the family on earth had performed the mortuary rituals completely and if they continued to honor and remember the departed soul.


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