The Process of Mummification
In order to go to the underworld, you had to be mummified or embalmed. First, they would crack the skull and take out the brains through the nose. Then they would put in a liquid and let it dry. Then they would take out all of the organs, except the heart, and put them in special jars. After that, they would replace the real organs with fake ones that were put inside the body where the the old ones use to be. They would wash the body in natron (natron was a salty liquid) and they would dry it with tree sap liquid, so it would be flexible. The priest or mummifiers would then wash the body and oil or perfume the body to make it smell good. They would wrap the pharaoh with 400 yards of linen strips. The priest would chant hymns and add charms and trinkets for good luck. They also would mummify cats, dogs, or any beloved pets. Animals were very sacred to the Egyptians and if you killed one, the sentence was death.
Many Egyptians believed that when someone died, the spirit would go to the afterlife. Usually the relatives would place food, water, and other kinds of precious belongings in the coffin for pharaohs to use in their afterlife. There were two different spirits, the ba and the ka. One part was the ba and the other was the ka. The ba was the body of the spirit and slept in the tomb. If the body was destroyed, the ba would go with it. The ba also knew where its body was by looking at the masks. The spirit of the ka stayed in the body permanently, and it was recognized as a bird-headed figure. After you died, your heart would be weighed against the feather of truth. All the gods would line up and say a great sin such as: "Did you ever kill a man?" The pharaoh or person would deny any wrongs and Anubis (See "Gods and Goddesses" web page) would weigh it. If the heart was light with purity and love, the soul, the person would cross a river where he was greeted by Osiris in the underworld. If it was heavy with sin, Anubis would throw it to a god with the head of a crocodile, and he would gobble it up. This would be a second death that you couldn't escape. In Osiris' world, you would have joy and never feel pain or sorrow. Also, all the possessions you owned in the other world would be in the underworld.
The priest would chant rituals and give trinkets and charms in the tomb to give him good luck on the trial. One charm was a scarab or a winged scarab. It was the nickname of the dung beetle. Also, another charm was a ankh. An ankh symbolized life and prosperity. Other symbols are the steps leading to Osiris, a lotus plant, Horus' eye, and the shen. The priest would then chant hymns or prayers to the gods to ask them to let the pharaoh go into the land. One hymn they would chant would be "Gates of sky, open for Tut, Gates of heaven, open for Tut, Tut comes to you, make him live. (Tut was an example. The priest could use the name of any pharaoh that died.)" Hymns and prayers or spells were found in the Book of the Dead. One thing in the book was a trial in which the soul meets the jury of the dead. (See above for more details.) The hieroglyphics would protect the pharaoh from harm. A good hieroglyphics would be a cat crown with a solar disk. To protect the pharaoh from Apophis, they would show a snake being cut or stabbed which would keep away evil.
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