Does Geography Determine Destiny?
Mummification & preservation
Humans have many beliefs about life and what happens after death. To live forever in the afterlife, or next world, Egyptians believed that their soul had a number of parts. The ba and ka are two parts of the soul, and they had to be able to recognize their body; so they preserved, or mummified their bodies. The body of a pharaoh was treated with extra care as they thought that the ruler was a god. After a pharaoh died, organs were removed and stored in special containers called canopic jars. Then the body was dried out, rubbed with oils, and wrapped with long, narrow pieces of linen cloth. Mixed in the wrappings were jewels and special gifts. The name of the person was written on the cloth in hieroglyphics and a mask with a likeness was used to cover the head. While the embalmers worked for seventy days to preserve the body, there were priests that held rituals throughout the process. There were also skilled craftsmen like carpenters, sculptors, and painters that created a series of coffins for the body. The outermost coffin is called a sarcophagus. An elaborate funeral was held and the body was placed in a tomb with all the furniture, belongings, and food that might be needed in the afterlife. Pets and servants remains have been found alongside the rulers. The entrance to the tombs were concealed for protection, and the tombs needed an air shaft for the daily visits of the spiritual ba and ka. The religious beliefs of the Egyptians certainly made death an important part of life.