Since this class focuses on information discovered mainly from tombs of ancient egyptians, I thought I’d look at their own writings about the afterlife. Contrary to popular belief and movies such as “The Mummy”, the Book of the Dead is not a book. In reality, it is just a collection of ancient magical spells written in different ways, such as on papyrus or tomb walls. So far, over 200 spells have been discovered in both ways. Ancient
Egyptians took death very seriously. To them, life was just to prepare their souls/spirits to pass on to the afterlife. The underworld was a place to be feared, filled with monsters and dangerous animals that were meant to prevent you from entering your eternal life. When a person dies, they will be in need of protection against the threats of the underworld; they accomplish this by picking some of the spells to take with them. Whichever spells they choose, depending on their levels of wealthy, are written on a papyrus scroll and buried along with the deceased in their tombs.
The picture of the heart-weighing ceremony in which the dead’s moral wealth is judged by the gods. The jackal-headed god Anubis, who is also guide to the dead, is seen weighing a human heart as another god, Thoth takes note of the result. — (AS)