In the process of mummification the brain and the internal organs, except the heart, were removed. The Ancient Egyptians believed that a physical body was essential for an eternal life for the deceased. Without a physical body the soul had no place to dwell and became restless forever. They believed that the dead would need to travel through the Underworld which was a land of great dangers. Magic spells were believed to help them through this perilous journey. At the end of the journey the soul of the dead would be judged by the gods where their fate would be decided - either entrance into the perfect afterlife or to be sent to the Devourer of the Dead. The Afterlife was a perfect existence in an ideal version of Egypt. Ancient Egyptians provided for their afterlives according to their earthly means - so their tombs were filled with their best and most expensive belongings.
History of Egyptian Tombs - Security
The history of ancient Egyptian tombs changed through the different periods of Egyptian history. The Ancient Egyptian belief in the Afterlife necessitated that their finest and most expensive possessions were buried with them, in their tombs. This fabulous wealth in gold, silver and jewels belonging to the Kings, Queens and nobility naturally attracted the attentions of robber - the tomb raiders. The history of the Royal Egyptian tombs changed according to the different levels of security that were required to keep the tomb raiders at bay, whilst ensuring an easy path to the Afterlife.
History of Egyptian Tombs - The Mastaba - Predynastic to the Early Dynastic Period
The history of ancient Egyptian tombs started with the Mastaba. The mastaba was a very simple tomb without any form of decoration. The mastaba was built of mud-brick and consisted of a single elevated platform. The history of Egyptian tombs therefore started with the mastaba which was used during the Pre-dynastic Period (5550 BC - 3050 BC) through to the Early Dynastic Period (3050 BC - 2686 BC).
History of Egyptian Tombs - The Step Pyramid of the Old Kingdom
The history of ancient Egyptian tombs made a radical change during the period of the Old Kingdom. In 2686 BC the first Egyptian pyramid was built by Imhotep - the Step Pyramid at Saqqara. The step pyramid was built as a tomb for King Djoser who was one of the kings of the 3rd Dynasty.
History of Egyptian Tombs - The First Pyramids
During the 4th dynasty of the Old Kingdom (2686 BC - 2181 BC)the Great Pyramids of Egypt were built at Giza. Sneferu aka Snefru - 2613-2589, the founder of the fourth dynasty, is known to have commissioned three pyramids and Khufu (Greek Cheops) 2589 - 2566 erected the Great Pyramid of Giza.
History of Egyptian Tombs - The Pyramid Texts
The history of ancient Egyptian tombs moves on to King Unas 2375 - 2345 who was the last ruler of the 5th Dynasty. He had the burial chamber in his pyramid tomb inscribed with spells for the afterlife and the cult of Osiris. These are referred to as the Pyramid Texts - later used and adapted to become the basis of the Book of the Dead
History of Egyptian Tombs - The First Intermediate Period and the Qakare Ibi pyramid at Saqarra
The First Intermediate Period (2181 BC - 2040 BC) and the 7th - 10th Egyptian Dynasties saw a breakdown of central government. Qakare Ibi is the only Pharaoh that can connected to any tomb monuments. His pyramid has been found at Saqarra and contains pyramid texts on the walls of his tomb.
History of Egyptian Tombs - The End of the Pyramids
The history of ancient Egyptian tombs came to a halt during the periods of the Middle Kingdom (2040 BC - 1782 BC) and the Second Intermediate Period (1782 BC - 1570 BC) covering the 11th - 17th dynasties. During tses periods the ancient Egyptians waged war on their enemies and the major constructions were temples which were dedicated to their gods.
History of Egyptian Tombs - The Rock Tombs of the New Kingdom
The history of ancient Egyptian tombs saw a dramatic change during the 500 year period of the New Kingdom (1570 BC - 1070 BC) covering the 18th - 20th Egyptian Dynasties. The capital of these Ancient Egyptians was based at Thebes and a necropolis was established in the Valley of the Kings and Queens. These tombs were built into the rock in this remote area. The great Pharaohs who were buried in these rock tombs included Hatshepsut, Tutankhamun, Tuthmose and Ramses II.
History of Egyptian Tombs - The Decline of the Egyptian Empire
During the Third Intermediate Period (1070 BC - 525 BC) the Nubians conquer Egypt establishing the 21st - 25th dynasties. The Late Period (672BC - 332 BC) and the 26th - 31st Egyptian Dynasties were ruled by independent princes, Kushite Kings and the Persians. Then during the Third Intermediate Period (1070 BC - 525 BC) the Nubians conquer Egypt establishing the 21st - 25th dynasties. The Late Period (672BC - 332 BC) and the 26th - 31st Egyptian Dynasties were ruled by independent princes, Kushite Kings and the Persians. Then Alexander the Great invades Egypt and establishes the Ptolemaic dynasty 332 BC - 30BC. Finally Egypt becomes a province of the Roman Empire from 30BC - 641 AD. During these dynasties no great tomb monumnets were built but it is interesting to note that the Greeks adopted the Ancient Egyptian religion as did the Romans. The Roman tombs were found in catacombs but prominent Roman tombs containing mummified Romans have been found. The Ancient Egyptian religion finally collapsed when Christianity was imposed on the Egyptian population by the Romans.
History of Egyptian Tombs
Each section of the History of Egyptian Tombs addresses all topics and provides interesting facts and information about the Golden Age of Pharaohs and of Egypt. The Sitemap provides full details of all of the information and facts provided about the fascinating subject of the Pharaoh - Tutankhamun and the History of Egyptian Tombs!