Download PDF by Steven Snape: Ancient Egyptian Tombs: The Culture of Life and Death

By Steven Snape

ISBN-10: 1405120894

ISBN-13: 9781405120890

This e-book explores the advance of tombs as a cultural phenomenon in old Egypt and examines what tombs display approximately historical Egyptian tradition and Egyptians’ trust within the afterlife.
• Investigates the jobs of tombs within the improvement of funerary practices
• attracts on various information, together with structure, artifacts and texts
• Discusses tombs in the context of lifestyle in historical Egypt
• Stresses the significance of the tomb as an everlasting expression of the self

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Additional resources for Ancient Egyptian Tombs: The Culture of Life and Death

Sample text

The places where these tombs are to be found are the royal cemeteries of the period, since the power of the kings of Dynasty 4, as demonstrated through their mortuary provision, was not limited to the pyramid complex itself but also extended to effectively making the tombs of their courtiers part of the design of the royal pyramid cemetery. It seems likely that mastaba cemeteries at Giza were initially planned as streets of broadly similar tombs which developed a more individual character only after they were distributed to specific members of the royal court (Der Manuelian 1998); although, as we shall see, there are several texts in which tomb-owners refer to the granting of a tomb as a more considered act of royal favour towards them.

In fact, where interactions with the Dead were concerned, their effects were, by their very nature, invisible. While ‘real’ food was the ideal, food created by magical incantation was a good substitute. While a visitor to the tomb might not have brought food with them, the recitation of a spell to create food for the ka was a relatively simple thing. The first concern of the textual content of a tomb was the identification of its owner, closely followed by conventional texts which specified what was required for a visitor to the tomb to make a prt xrw (peret kheru), a ‘Voice Offering’, whose individual items were often listed.

Certainly by the Old Kingdom it is clear that the royal afterlife was fundamentally different to that of everyone else, but the extent to which these ideas were already present in Dynasties 1 and 2 is obscure. One piece of evidence which might support the idea of royal differentness in the Early Dynastic Period is the retainer burials around the main royal tomb at the Umm el-Qa’ab, including that of Den, which some scholars 28 Pits, Palaces and Pyramids have argued represent sacrificial burials of low-status servants, women and dogs to accompany the dead king (Morris 2007a).

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Ancient Egyptian Tombs: The Culture of Life and Death by Steven Snape

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