Model from the tomb of Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II (-2050/-2000)British Museum
Learn about how some royalty or rich individuals packed and prepared for the afterlife in ancient Egypt. If your first thoughts are snacks, you're not far off. This model of a bakery was made to sustain an eternity of bread making, which was a staple food.
1. Food & Furniture
Many everyday items were buried with the rich and important, including chairs, tables, makeup, pottery, games and chariots, the more you can afford, the more you take - all to make the afterlife more comfortable for the ka (soul).
Ancient Egyptian amulets represented different animals, deities, symbols, or objects in a miniature form. They wore them for protection and good luck.
3. Scarab amulets
Scarab amulets were placed on the deceased’s heart to provide the power of rebirth.
The scarab amulet was often inscribed with spells from the Book of the Dead to prevent the heart from telling the truth during the weighing of the heart ceremony.
Shabtis are small funerary figures who accompanied the deceased to the after-life to help with duties or work. It was believed that the afterlife is a mirror of one’s life, so responsibilities wouldn’t be stopping then.
Jewellery was used by ancient Egyptians to show their wealth, look beautiful, and as protective amulets. The wealthiest people had the most jewelry, often of gold.
6. Canopic jars
When a body was preserved as a mummy, the internal organs were taken out quickly after death, as they would rot. The liver, lungs, stomach and intestines were placed in four different containers.
Entertainment is necessary in every long trip. If the person can afford it, they were often buried with board games such as 'Senet', and musical instruments, such as 'sistrums'.
8. Sun boats
After the mummification, a funeral procession was held starting from the person’s home then crossing the Nile on a boat to the cemetery on the west bank. The funeral was not regarded as a final goodbye, and families regularly visited the tombs of their dead.
It was believed that the mummified body was the home for the spirit, and it was necessary to preserve it in as life-like a manner as possible to allow for re-birth.
10. Books of the Dead
Books of the dead are a series of texts & prayers that provided instructions for the soul’s laborious journey through the netherworld, overcoming perils and dodging demons so that it could reach eternity.
Now that you've learned about the essentials, go back to ancient Egypt as a cat mummy, and save the pharaoh's afterlife journey!