Culture of the Ancient Egypt - Paper Example

Published: 2021-08-15 19:41:31
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George Washington University
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Research paper
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Osiris married his sister Isis, and together they ruled the ancient Egypt. Osiris created Egypt so well that he positioned river Nile in a perfect position for the supply of water to the Egyptians. As seen earlier, he also created barley for them to cultivate. Osiris ruled in harmony and respected his father and siblings. However, due to his brothers perfection, Set became jealous and designed a plan to overthrow his brother. Set, organized a party where he invited seventy-three people Osiris included.  Before the party, Set created a coffin with exact measurements of his brother without his knowledge. After the party, Set announced that he would give the coffin as a gift to anyone who would fit precisely in it. Since it had the exact measurements of his brother Osiris, he is the one who would fit in the coffin. Once his brother was in it, he closed the lid and locked it where he would later throw him in river Nile only to tell everyone that Osiris had died.

Set assumed the rule of the world immediately. However, Isis could not believe that Osiris was dead and started looking for him. She would later find the coffin inside a tree at Byblos. After retrieving the body, she brought it back to Egypt where she could perform rituals to bring Osiris back to life. Before the rituals, she gave her sister Nephthys the responsibility of guarding the body while she was gathering essentials of the rituals. Out of curiosity, Set thought that Isis would be able to locate their brothers body and perform rituals to resurrect him. He asked Nephthys the whereabouts of Isis who lied to him. She later revealed where the body was hidden and Set torn the coffin and cut he body into many pieces. It is unclear whether he cut the body into forty-two parts or fourteen times. Set later threw the pieces all over Egypt to make it hard for Isis to bring back Osiris. When Isis returned home, she was told the story and together with her sister, the embarked on a journey to search for the parts. It is from the search that the two sisters established the forty-two provinces of Egypt.

After finding all the body parts apart from the penis, she assembled the parts and created another penis. She later mated with Osiris and gave birth to Horus. Although Isis was able to bring his husband back to life, he could not rule the world because of missing some parts. He would later go to the underworld to rule the land of the dead. Later, Horus was able to throw out Set and became the ruler of the world. Horus, Isis, and Nephthys were able to restore harmony in Egypt. Whenever people died, it was believed that their souls stand before Osiris for judgment. If Osiris judgment favored the soul, it would proceed to a place of purification, and if it failed the test, the soul would cease to exist. These Egyptian myths reveal that the Egyptians had joy in living which may have led to the creation of great temples and monuments some of which still exist.

Mummification

Mummification is the process of making a dead body into a mummy for purposes of preservation. The word mummy is derived from the Latin word Mumia meaning wax.' Mummification is, therefore, preserving the dead by the use of wax. In ancient Egypt, mummification is thought to have started in 3500 BC and ended in around 30 BC. During this period, the Egyptians did not document the methods used to mummify their rulers. However, there are two main sources from which researchers have learned about the process. One process is through writings of Herodotus, a Greek who occasionally traveled to Egypt. The other source which conforms to Herodotus writings is a medical examination of the mummies.

For more than 3000 years that mummification was done, there many improvements and innovations on the ways to preserve better the mummies. At some point, they may have tried new methods of preparing mummy and end up with an undesired outcome. However, when they perfected the art around the 19th dynasty, the process only involved three parts: removing internal organs, removing moisture, and protecting dried remains are it will be discussed later in the paper. Following are some of the pharaohs or dynasties and the evolving of mummification.

Pre-Dynastic Era there are few mummies from this period, and the few recovered were sun-dried. The Old Kingdom during linen and plastic was used where the limbs were wrapped separately. Plaster was also applied to the bandage, and in some mummies, it was the last layer. Finally, the face was painted on the lined or plaster. However, very few from this period have been found. It is during these dynasties that they started removing internal organs. Middle kingdom here, many mummification methods were used. They stopped painting the face during this time and replaced it with a funnel mask placed on the head. New Kingdom at this period the brain was removed, other internal organs were removed watched and dried. Less important people were also at some point preserved using beeswax. The last two periods that is the third intermediate period, and the late period, the mummification was close to perfect although in the last period the mummy-makers could even mix some body parts from different individuals because more and more people wanted to be mummified.

Due to the expensive nature of mummification, everybody was not mummified. Pharaohs were usually mummified and later buried in tombs. Other noble people, sometimes ordinary Egyptians also received the same treatment. Some animals were also mummified for religious reasons. The process of mummification took seventy days, and special priests conducted it. The priests were special in that they knew the rituals and prayers to be performed and they also understood the human anatomy. They started by removing internal body parts apart from the heart. The brain was removed through nostrils using special hooks. The stomach parts were removed through a cut made in the abdomen, and these parts were preserved in canopic jars. The jars would later be buried with the mummy after the mummification process.

The next step was removing moisture from the rest of the body. In this step, the body was covered using natron. This is a type of salt that had hygroscopic properties. Some packets of natron were placed on the body and other parts of the body. After drying, the natron was removed and then the sunken areas were to make the body recognizable. False eyes were also added. The body was then carefully wrapped in linen where some had prayers written on the strips. Several layers of linen were wrapped and finally a cloth which was also secured with linen strips. During this period, the tombs preparation was going on including putting in place the things that the bereaved would require afterlife. Some of these things were furniture, wall paintings, daily scenes, daily prayers, scenes among others and it was believed that when the dead needed those things, they would become a reality through magic

The step after mummification was the funeral, where special rituals were performed at the tombs entrance. One of the rituals performed was opening some parts of the body that the dead needed in the afterlife. The opening was done through touch using special instruments, and they believed that the dead would now be able to eat and talk in the next life. The mummy was then put in a coffin, placed in the tomb and the entrance locked. It was believed that the tomb was starting point of the journey to resurrection. Different sizes of tombs were built depending on how rich a person was with the rich constructing larger tombs. Most tombs were constructed when the owner was still alive. The owner would then gather the goods he or she would need in the afterlife and even appoint the priest who would perform rituals. During the burial, the rituals were beneficial because the deceased remained in the mind of the living when they see the tomb.

Different cultures have different beliefs, and the ancient Egypt was unique. It has been suggested that their life was so good on earth such that they could not imagine not living it after death. Due to this, they came up with myths to convince them ab...

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