Egyptian Funerary Rituals Essay

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Contextualizing Egyptian funerary rituals at the Nasher Art Museum
Although the Egyptian empire lasted over 3000 years (3150 B.C-30 B.C), archaeologists often study the region and culture of the New Kingdom (1549–1069 BC) due to its relative prosperity, mythological intricacies, and ideological innovation. During this period, the Egyptian dynasty was at its zenith, spreading from present day Syria to the eastern edges of present day Eritrea with heavy population densities near the Mediterranean sea and along the supposedly divine Nile River. In addition to harvesting wheat, vegetables, and grain from the flooding of the Nile, the river was often used as an intercontinental trade route from the Balkan peninsula to the interior of Africa. Trade
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During the liminal period, mourners shaved their hair, rejected bathing, and put dirt on their heads to portray the societal disorder caused by death (Meskell 1999). During the transition stage, death was not commemorated publically like the Roman parades, gladiator brawls, or eulogies (Bergmann 1999). While the Egyptians gave funerary offerings such as servants, food, and mummified pets, these gifts were seen as sustenance for the ka and ba to further remove the dead from society. Once the ka arrived in the underworld, postliminal rites of surrounding the deceased with amulets of protection and magical spells ensured the protection and incorporation of the dead in the afterlife. Many magical spells were inscribed in the book of the dead for the elite and coffin texts for non-royal persons to reunite the ba with the corpse (spell 89), transform into a snake (spell 87), and defend the heart (spell 30B) (Taylor 2010). Incantations and amulets provided dual incorporation; one of the dead prosperously entering the afterlife and another of society feeling content with protecting their relatives and

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