Cultural Artifact

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Introduction

A was a reserved place for the dead and can be contrasted with the modern graves (History, 2009). The main use of the tomb was to provide protection to the dead. Additionally, a tomb was considered a place where the dead person will be living in the afterlife. For this reason, supplies considered necessary for the use of the dead person in the afterlife were also put in the tomb. Later, tombs were constructed to preserve the memory of the dead.

Egyptian tombs especially the pyramids are among the tombs that carry the greatest fame in the world. Pyramids evolved frommastabas. These had a shape of a rectangle and were made of bricks and mud. They were constructed over a grave. The first mastaba to be made from stone and had a shape of a pyramid was the step pyramid of Djoser. It was built by a pharaoh of the Third dynasty. Three pharaohs in the Fourth Dynasty namely Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure, built the biggest pyramids in the Egyptian history. The pyramid constructed for Khufu is listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It stands taller than all the pyramids and is estimated to have a height of 480 feet. The construction took 20 years and by a workforce of about 20,000. The pharaohs and the queens were buried in the pyramids.

A peep into an Egyptian tomb depicted the beliefs the Egyptians held about the present life, death, and life after death. Egyptians believed that all those who died were believed to travel across vast valleys with body masses and cross mountains before they would get to their destination. They believe that the journey has numerous doors as well as gates that were always under the watchful eye of God (Thomas, Faulkner and Andrews, 21). One of the necessities put in the tomb for the use of the dead in the afterlife was theBook of the Dead. This book containedspells and illustrations that the Egyptians believed furnished the dead person with knowledge and power for safe travel through the dangers of the Netherworld. Some of the powers of the spell were to help the dead control their bodies and sometimes transform into other creatures. The book also talked about the ultimate goal of every Egyptian which was eternal life.

The Egyptians further believed that the day of burial was the day the dead person moved from the world of the living to the world of the dead. Among the ceremonies conducted was theopening of the mouth (Thomas, Faulkner and Andrews, 21). Egyptians also believed in judgment where the heart was weighed against a feather of truth. If they were found to have no evil, they would be allowed into the afterlife. If they were found to be evil, a monster would eat their hearts, and their existence would cease. They further believed that the afterlife was different for different people. They believed in a reunion with their families and that a living happily in eternity represented that Egypt was a good place.

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