The Tomb in Ancient Egypt
The Procession to the Tomb
After the body was properly prepared and mummified, it would be moved from the embalming place to the tomb. The embalming was never done in the tomb because it was considered an unclean process.
The procession from the embalming place to the tomb would be lead by the mummified body. Women would often cry and tear their clothes as they walked toward the tombs. Many of these women would be professional mourners hired by the family. Behind the mourners would be funeral attendees who would often carry supplies and objects which would be placed in the tomb for the deceased.
When the body was brought into the tomb, the priest would perform a ritual ceremony known as the "Opening of the Mouth." It was believed that your life force rejoined your body after this ceremony. The spirit of the deceased could now speak, eat, and drink. This ceremony is also credited with magically giving the statues and wall paintings the ablity to care for the needs of the dead man's spirit.
The tombs were created to provide the dead with the necessary supplies needed in the journey of the afterlife. The tomb would be equipped with every day items which the dead person would need, and was usually located on the west side of the Nile. Inside the tombs clothing, jewelry, food, and weapons were stored, all placed there as supplies for the afterlife. The tomb also often included a statue of the person along with detailed statues of servants, concubines and boats. These would help the spirit of the deseased in their travel in the afterlife.
In addition to the material in the tomb, the walls of the tomb where painted with scenes from every day life. They believed that these paintings could be magically evoked to supply the spirits with their needs in eternity. The statue of the dececsed could act as a kind of substitute for the spirit in case the body was damaged or destroyed. The statues of the servants could all serve the dead person's spirit in the after life.
The dead were believed to have the same needs as the living. A man's heir was expected to bring food to the tomb daily to feed the dead person's "ka" or spirit. Often this duty was neglected the decedents. The heir may also hire a priest to take care of feeding the dead person's "ka." These priests became know as a Ka servant and would often be given large tracks of land to support their duties to the dead.
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