History Paper Burial Practices, Concept of After Life Ancient Romans and Egyptians

1038 words 5 pages
The concept of afterlife existed among many ancient civilizations. It was met as a way of understanding the present or as a way to predict the future depending on their needs. As such, in order to explain the unknown phenomenon that impacted their daily life, early tribes saw natural events as simple as the rain and the winds or birth and death and regarded them to be controlled by supernatural powers related to the gods, demons, the moon, the sun or other external driving forces. Ancient people sought protection for survival and power to maintain order with the tribes by practicing rituals which were aimed to invoke the spirit of the deceased. However, as civilizations evolved with time, their beliefs became more complex and profound. …show more content…

Once done, the body was laid to dry for more than a month. Although these steps were crucial for the preservation of the body, it was also believed that the transition process to the afterlife continues with the weighing of the heart.

Egyptians believed that in order to gain their way to eternity one’s heart must be as light as a feather. This organ was not removed from the body and was left to be weighted by Anubis, the funeral god and Thoth, the god of knowledge. As such, it is believed that one’s heart is placed on a scale and weigh against a feather. If the scale is balanced, the deceased is deemed to have done good deeds in the present life and the gods would grant them immortality.

When the mummification process is finished the preserved body is placed in a coffin as the one displayed at the Met, Gallery 112. This coffin, from Egypt Middle Kingdom time was made for a well respected and wealthy individual. The sophisticated decoration reflects the hierarchical social distinction in this particular society.

In conclusion, though both ancient Romans and Egyptians believed in afterlife, they treated the corpses and practiced funeral rituals differently. These mainly resulted from their respective perception of how the mortal life was related to the afterlife as well as the importance to


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