Ancient Egypt: Mummies

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Recently, I made a visit to the Field Museum of Chicago, which is located on South Lake Shore Drive in downtown Chicago. Formerly named the Columbian Museum of Chicago, the Field Museum was founded on September 16th, 1893, and was created for the infamous World Fair that was to be held in Chicago. The official opening of the museum was held on June 2, 1894, originally in the location of the current Museum of Science and Industry.The year of 1915 was when the construction began for the current building that the museum resides in.

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Costing around 7 million dollars at the time, blueprint designs were created by Chicago architect, Pierce Anderson, who belonged to the Chicago architectural firm, Graham, Anderson, Probst & White. All archeological findings were transported from the former museum location to the current South Lake Shore Drive location in 1920. Once findings were transported, the official opening of the museum took place on the great date of May 2nd, 1921, and still a gaping attraction hub and nationally renown site of archeological findings today! (Administrator). When visiting, I was lucky enough to attend a special, limited time exhibit called Mummies, which focused on the ancient process of mummification, both in Egyptian and Peruvian cultures. For this course paper, I choose to focus on the Ancient Egyptian culture as it relates to their religious practices, Art and process of mummification.

The Ancient Egyptian culture thrived under a specific religious and traditional ideology for almost 3000 years, from roughly 3100-330 B.C.E. The religious traditions within Ancient Egyptian culture were based on polytheism, the belief of many Gods. The Ancient Egyptians of this time placed heavy importance on the land and were ruled by ‘Pharaohs,’ who were considered a god in human form. As referenced in The Humanistic Tradition, by Gloria K. Fiero who received her Ph. D, from Florida State university in interdisciplinary Humanities stated that Theocratic Socialism served as the Ancient Egyptians political system to guide their various spiritual beliefs and day-to-day life (Fiero 48). This quote demonstrates how the Political system of Ancient Egyptians fueled their spiritual guidelines they lived by.Egyptians used the art of Hieroglyphs, which was a form of two-dimensional art, inside of tombs. This art was not created for the intent to be seen outside these tomb walls, even though they do depict what the day-to-day life was and help us better understand what life was like in ancient Egypt. Fiero shows many examples of different forms of hieroglyphs that were painted inside burial tombs throughout the text in Chapter 2.

Fiero explains the method of how Ancient Egyptians were able to create the two-dimensional art. There are two specific rules that these artists followed, and Fiero describes them as ‘cannon:’ a set of rules or standards used to establish proportions.

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