above is a composite of several different styles and eras.
After a body was embalmed and wrapped in linen
bandages, the mummy was placed in a case or coffin. Cases
of the rich were often carefully carved to be body-shaped, and
were lavishly and colorfully decorated. Egyptian mummy cases
were painted in many different styles over the centuries. Most
styles included a idealized representation of the mummy's face,
often just painted on, but sometimes carved into the coffin.
Other popular decorations included pictures of the Egyptian
gods. Often winged beings were painted onto the case with the
wings wrapping around the sides of the coffin as a symbol of
The ancient Egyptians believed that beneath the
surface of the earth was a place they called Duat. This
was the kingdom of Osiris who ruled the underworld. The underworld
was full of dangers, including poisonous snakes and lakes of
fire. The dead person's Ka, or spirit, would have to
travel though the underworld to the Hall of Two Truths. During
Egypt's Middle Kingdom period, mummy cases were even painted
with maps of the underworld designed to help the Ka to navigate
the dangers there. Across the outside of the coffin were sometimes
inscribed various magical formulas written in hieroglyphics
that the dead could recite to ward off trouble. According to
Egyptian beliefs, when the Ka reached the Hall of Two Truths,
the dead person's heart would be weighed against their past
deeds. If the dead person was found to be worthy, the god of
wisdom, Thoth, would lead him to his reward. Those failing the
test would have their hearts fed to a goddess called the "Devourer
of the Dead."
of the more well-known Egyptian Gods.
Amon - The creator god.
Anubis - God of mummification.
Isis - Mistress of Magic. Also the wife
of Osiris and mother of Horus.
Osiris - God of farming and ruler of the
Horus - The sky god. Son of Osiris and
Set - God of disorder. An enemy of Horus.
Sobek - The crocodile god.
Ra - The sun god.
Copyright Lee Krystek
2001. All Rights Reserved.