Ancient Egypt- Funerary Rituals

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Research Assignment: Ancient Egyptian beliefs in afterlife influenced their funerary practices and rituals. This ancient civilisation obsession with death and the desire to have a well furnished sustained afterlife consequently led to the survival of extensive funerary artefacts, tomb art, preserved bodies, pyramids, funerary literature and mortuary text, such as, the coffin text, pyramid texts and the book of dead. This combined with the writings of ancient historians such as Herodotus with, ‘The Histories’, Plutarch, with ‘Worship of Isis and Osiris’, Manetho with, ‘Aegyptiaca’ (History of Egypt) and Didorus Siculus with, ‘Bibliotheca historica’ (Historical Library) have provided contemporary historians and Egyptologist with numerous primary sources both literary and non-literary to utilize, in their exploration of Ancient Egyptian culture. The Ancient Egyptian beliefs prominently affected periods of their history, Old, Middle and New kingdom, the Ancient Egyptian mortuary beliefs controlled their funerary traditions specifically the practices and rituals involved. These religious traditions, practices and rituals, were also influenced by other cultures beliefs, such as, the Roman influence in the Ptolemy period. ‘A remarkable feature of the Egyptian funerary religion is its complexity, which developed as new beliefs were incorporated without old ones being discarded’ (Spencer, 1982). Ancient Egyptian beliefs in afterlife changed dramatically from the Old kingdom to the New Kingdom. Although fundamental aspects did remain the same, they associated their life cycle, with their observation of nature, with the solar cycle where the Sun God Re (sun) daily passage across the sky dying at night and being reborn each morning. This continuous cycle was incorporated into their funerary beliefs that death was an extension of life and in the natural cycle afterlife was
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