Mummies of Ancient Egypt:Who Were the Mummies? 3

Over time almost all Egyptians who could afford to became mummies when they died — a total of about 70 million mummies in 3,000 years. By the 4th century AD, many Egyptians had become Christians and no longer believed that mummification was necessary for life after death. Eventually, the Egyptians gave up the art and science of making mummies. Continue reading Mummies of Ancient Egypt:Who Were the Mummies? 3

Mummies of Ancient Egypt: How are Mummies Made? 2

Mummification in ancient Egypt was a very long and expensive process. From start to finish, it took about seventy days to embalm a body. Since the Egyptians believed that mummification was essential for passage to the afterlife, people were mummified and buried as well as they could possibly afford. High-ranking officials, priests and other nobles who had served the pharaoh and his queen had fairly elaborate burials. The pharaohs, who were believed to become gods when they died, had the most magnificent burials of all. In the case of a royal or noble burial, the embalmers set up workshops near the tomb of the mummy. Continue reading Mummies of Ancient Egypt: How are Mummies Made? 2

Pharaoh

Pharaoh: Lord of the Two Lands

The most powerful person in ancient Egypt was the pharaoh. The pharaoh was the political and religious leader of the Egyptian people, holding the titles: ‘Lord of the Two Lands’ and ‘High Priest of Every Temple’.
As ‘Lord of the Two Lands’ the pharaoh was the ruler of Upper and Lower Egypt. He owned all of the land, made laws, collected taxes, and defended Egypt against foreigners.

As ‘High Priest of Every Temple’, the pharaoh represented the gods on Earth. He performed rituals and built temples to honour the gods.

Ramesses II Many pharaohs went to war when their land was threatened or when they wanted to control foreign lands. If the pharaoh won the battle, the conquered people had to recognise the Egyptian pharaoh as their ruler and offer him the finest and most valuable goods from their land.

Khepri

Khepri
‘He Who is Coming into Being’
Appearance:

  • Man with the head of a scarab
  • A scarab beetle


Khepri was a god of creation, the movement of the sun, and rebirth.
The scarab beetle lays its eggs in a ball of dung. Then, it rolls the ball along the ground until the young beetles are ready to hatch.

When the young beetles are ready, they crawl out of the ball.

Khepri scarab
Khepri scarab
The ancient Egyptians believed that the beetles just appeared from nowhere- as they believed that their creator god had appeared from nowhere. Thus, they thought that the scarab beetle was special.

In certain creation stories, Khepri is connected with the god Atum. He is also connected with the sun god Ra who pushed the sun through the sky every day.


Isis God in Ancient Egypt

Isis
Appearance:

  • Woman with headdress in the shape of a throne
  • A pair of cow horns with a sun disk


Isis was a protective goddess. She used powerful magic spells to help people in need.
Isis was the wife of Osiris and the mother of Horus.

Since each pharaoh was considered the ‘living Horus’, Isis was very important.

Isis with Horus
Isis with Horus
Isis is often shown holding Horus on her lap. Isis is associated with thrones because her lap was the first ‘throne’ that Horus sat upon.

Isis KnotThis amulet is called the ‘Isis knot’ and is a symbol of protection.

A temple was built to honour Isis at Philae. It is still standing today.

Horus

Horus
‘The One Far Above’

Appearance:

  • Man with the head of a hawk
  • A hawk


Horus was a god of the sky.

He is probably most well-known as the protector of the ruler of Egypt.

The Egyptians believed that the pharaoh was the ‘living Horus’.

Horus standard
Horus standard
The ancient Egyptians had many different beliefs about the god Horus. One of the most common beliefs was that Horus was the son of Isis and Osiris.

After Osiris was murdered by his brother Seth, Horus fought with Seth for the throne of Egypt.

In this battle, Horus lost one of his eyes. The eye was restored to him and it became a symbol of protection for the ancient Egyptians. After this battle, Horus was chosen to be the ruler of the world of the living.

Eye of Horus
Eye of Horus
One of the best-preserved temples in Egypt today was dedicated to Horus. It is located in Upper Egypt at a town called Edfu.