We’ll sleep when we’re dead

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)

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The Key to Understanding the Ancient Language

The Key to Understanding the Ancient Language

The Rosetta Stone

Ancient Egypt was conquered by many of its neighbors including the Greeks during Alexander the Great’s conquest. Because of this the culture and the society was forced to learn and adopt the culture of their conquerors. This lead for the Egyptians to forget how to read and write in hieroglyphs. The stone (or slav) was essential inorder to translate hieroglyphs because it was written in greek and in demonic which made it easier to translate and find patterns to relearn the old language.

by: Isabel Garcia

Sometimes tyrants…..

Sometimes tyranny isn’t so subtle or creative.
― Steven Wood Collins, Puramore: The Lute of Pythagoras

When I look at this quote, I think its a pretty fair summary of Ancient Egypt. If you take a look at the paintings of hieroglyphs upon the walls in Ancient Egypt, they tell a story. Part of the stories were good, but some of the Pharaoh’s were evil and were known for the statement “Pharaoh speaks!” for a good reason. As a girl I was in love with the mysticism of Egypt and I wanted to be an archaeologist like Indiana Jones. I thought it would be interesting to go to dig sites and uncover the history of those before us.

I then realized what Archaeologist call uncovering, others consider disturbing the dead. But  in this class I would like to decipher the good from the bad, real from the not so real that we have heard from the Media (movies, books, newspaper). I have a relatively negative picture of Egypt in my minds eye and I hope to love it as I once did. – CL

Gettin’ my Egypt on…

The first couple of weeks in “Ancient Civilizations of Egypt” has definitely added some new words to my vocabulary: alluvium, bi-facial, Levallois, and Chalcolithic to name a few.  I have found reading archaeological text to be at times tedious and fascinating, but mostly tedious.  Tedious only in the sense that because I am not a professional archaeologist the readings take longer because I am constantly looking up new terms.  However the content (once I know what the author(s) are talking about) is very interesting.

After reading The Geography of Excavated Predynastic Sites and the Rise of Complex Society by Kathryn Bard, I have come to consider, based on her interpretation of other peoples work, that there is no hope for cultures to bridge the gap between classes.  According to Bard, trade in Predynastic Egypt was not predicated on utilitarian and subsistence needs but rather for status.  If humankind as been so preoccupied by having material wealth from 3000 B.C.E. surely there is no end in sight for this to change. ~TB

Predynastic Egypt