Archive for the ‘Ancient Egypt’ Category

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Engineering An Empire

September 10, 2008

When the Nile floods one of two things might happen either the Nile will overflow too little and not enough silt is deposited, or it will flood too much and destroy any villages in its way.  The  first pharaoh of Egypt, King Mines who united upper and lower Egypt, had a dam built around the city of Menes to protect them form the flood. There was another dam built in Egypt but there is now a huge gap in the middle which might have happened by the water putting to much pressure on the dam causing it to break.

Djoser was the first pharaoh to build his tomb from stone with his chief archetect, Minotep, drawing out the plan that would make history. Djoser had 10,000 men building his tomb. First, Djoser had his men build his underground chambers; in the north he would have his body and in south he would have his internal organs. When Djosers tomb was complete, it rose 20 stories high. It was six mastobas stacked on top of each other and it had limastone pillars around it, Djoser had created the first Step Pyramid.

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Egyptian Afterlife-Mummification

September 10, 2008

Ancient Egyptians believed that afterlife would be much like life on Earth; thus, they buried the deceased with everything they would need for eternity. Before mummification, Egyptians would bury the dead in pits in the desert. Because of the dryness and heat in the desert, the bodies dehydrated rapidly, causing natural, lifelike mummies. The Egyptians started burying the bodies in coffins to protect them from the animals, but noticed that the bodies were still decaying without the sand or heat. They created a method to preserve the bodies by filling them with embalming fluid and wrapping them in linen.

To emblam the body, Egyptians would take them to a tent where the embalmers would wash the body and rinse it. A cut would be made on the left side of the body to remove the internal organs, other than the heart. The organs were placed in natron, which dries them out. After the brain is taken out through the nose, the body is stuffed with natron. After forty days, the body is washed again and the organs are wrapped in linen and returned to the body. To make the body lifelike, it is stuffed with things such as sawdust. Since the body has been cleansed, it is now ready to be wrapped.

When wrapping the dead, Egyptians would start off with the head and neck, then moving to the fingers and toes which were wrapped individually. Next are the arms and legs, which are wrapped individually as well. The embalmers would place amulets to protect the body on its journey to the underworld. While all this is happening, a priest reads spells that were said to protect the deceased from evil spirits. After the mummy is wrapped, the arms and legs were tied together with a papyrus scroll in between the hands that held spells from the Book of the Dead. More linen wraps are added to the body and held together by liquid resin. More cloth is wrapped around the body and a picture of Osiris, the man who promised eternal life after death, is painted on top. One big cloth is put around it with strips of linen attached. Before the mummy is put into the coffin, a painted wood board is placed on top. The coffin then goes into another coffin and the funeral is held.