ancient Egyptian tomb was supplied with items the deceased would need
in the afterlife: food, household goods, and the body itself.
body of the deceased was an important part of the tomb contents.
The mummy was taken to the tomb, along with the vital organs that had
also been removed and preserved. The organs were kept in canopic jars
stored in a large canopic chest. There were four canopic jars. Another
important addition to the tomb supplies were the containers holding
the materials used in the embalming process. These were included in
case even the smallest part of the body had ended up inside them. To
fit in everything a wealthy or royal person would need in the afterlife,
the tombs of these individuals were often large and complex structures.
They normally consisted of two main parts: the superstructure above
ground and the burial chamber underground.
The Egyptian mummy cases
were painted in bright and joyful colors. This is because that the Egyptians
were confident that the dead person had left for a better world. Skilled
artists painted the surfaces with beautiful hieroglyphs and religious
images. Scenes from the book of the dead were common. Other scenes show
the sun god Re, whom the dead person was thought to join in heaven,
or the scarab beetle, a symbol of rebirth. The various gods associated
with Osiris along with the Sons of Horus were also painted on many coffins.
Another popular figure was the sky goddess, Nut, who is often seen on
the lid or floor of the coffin, with her feathery wings wrapped around
the mummy in protection. (69)
in the afterlife the deceased had work to do. To avoid these chores,
shabtis, small, model servants, were placed in the tombs. The earliest
shabtis come from the Middle Kingdom. These figures were made of wood
or wax, and often placed in model wooden coffins.(Budge 11)
Boxes filled with mud Shabtis.
This is the 'Isis knot' amulet which will protect the body
This is the 'Plummet' amulet, which will keep the person balanced in
the next life.
The ancient Egyptians used headrests in this shape in their daily
lives. This amulet made sure that the person's head would be supported
forever. This headrest amulet is only about two centimeters tall.(Budge
Here is a list of
the most famous amulets used by the Egyptians:
SCARAB : The symbol of the God
of creation. The scarab was frequently placed on the dead to effect
their resurection. The scarab itself was based on a type of dung eating
DJED : Believed to give strength
to the back.
tjet : Represents the sexual
organs of the God Isis. Usually this amulet is found in the hands of
URS : Headrests of pillows.
Usually made of wood or ivory they were placed under the mummy's neck.
AB : Inscribed on the breast
of the mummy to replace the heart.
NER-T : This amulet commemorates
the wanderings of the Goddess Isis. Gives its wearer the strength of
USEKH : Tied to the mummy's
head to protect the chest and neck.
UADJ : Gave the wearer the qualities
of youth and virility.
UDJAT : Worn for good health
protection and well being.
AHAT : Made in the form of a
cow wearing the solar disk with plumes between the horns.
FROG : Fertility symbol usually
made of gold.
NEFER : Represented a musical
instrument and gave its wearer good luck.
BA : Made in the form of a man
headed hawk it was usually made of gold and placed on the breast.
SMA : Believed to give the mummy
power to breathe.
AAKHU : A symbol of life after
SHUTI : Represents the two feathers
on the heads of Ra, Osiris and Amen-Ra.
SHEN : Symbol of eternity.
REN : Name amulet. In some cases
the name of a king was inscribed.
MENAT : Amulet of virility,
fertility and sexual power.
MAQ-T : The amulet provided
the dead with the ability to ascend to heaven.
URAEUS : Represented the sacred
cobra. A symbol of sovereignty worn on the head of the Kings and Queens
Grave goods included
pots (the majority of the items), combs, stone vessels, and slate palettes
on which malachite, the green eye cosmetic, was ground. Sometimes there
were figurines and objects of copper, beads, and amulets.
important factor in the development of the Egyptian tomb was the necessity
to provide storage space for the items of funerary equipment.
cases were New Kingdom boxes that fit between the mummy and the coffin.
They were made in two styles: a box and lid like a coffin, or a box
with doors in the back that laced closed. Mummy cases were made of cartonnage,
a lightweight material made from waste papyrus and linen covered in
plaster. The cartonnage material allowed the case to be molded closely
to the outline of the mummy; it was also a wonderful material to paint
on. Mummy cases were elaborately decorated with a variety of religious
on the period and the wealth of the individual, it was fashionable to
be buried in either one, two, or three different coffins. Multiple coffins
would be nested one inside the other.By the Middle Kingdom the coffin
was considered a miniature tomb, and it was decorated with many of the
items that had formerly adorned the walls of the tomb. The goddesses
Isis and Nephthys were painted as guards at the head and foot of the
coffin. The inside floor of the coffin was painted with Nut, Isis, Osiris,
or the Djed pillar (Osiris's backbone). The sides bore the four sons
of Horus and other deities. (50-54)
Sarcophagus is a coffin made of stone. Sarcophagus means “flesh eater”
in Greek, for the Greeks believed that the
stone would dissolve a dead body. Sarcophagus were expensive, and
only pharaohs, noblemen, or important officials were buried in them.
They were also incrediblyheavy and had to
be positioned in the tombs by gangs of workers. During the funeral,
the mummy was carried into the tomb
and sealed in the sarcophagus. The first sarcophagi were plain rectangular boxes,
but the later ones were rounded to look like the mummy inside them.(Erman