History Embalmed

Purpose of King Tut's Tomb

Religious beliefs and the mummification of King Tut
The Ancient Egyptians believed that life and death were stages of progress to a better life in the next world. They believed that mummification, the way of preserving the body in death, was necessary to keep the soul alive. In the process of mummification the brain and the internal organs, except the heart, were removed and stored in canopic jars which were buried with mummy in the tomb.

They believed that a physical body was essential for an eternal life for the deceased and that without a physical body the soul had no place to dwell and became restless forever. The mummies of dead Egyptians, like Tutankhamun, were placed in a sarcophagus which was decorated with a likeness of the deceased. Their tombs were filled with decorations and scenes carrying messages affirming the religious beliefs of the person. The tomb, the process of mummification, rituals and magic spells promoted the well-being, and ensured the preservation, of the dead and the elements of the soul called the Ka, Ba and Ahk.

Purpose of King Tut's Tomb - the Ka, Ba and Akh
The Ancient Egyptians and Tutankhamun believed that death occurred when a person's life-force ( known as the ka) left their body.

Ceremonies conducted by priests after the death of Tutankhamun, including the "opening of the mouth' ceremony was aimed not only to restore his physical abilities in death, but also to release the entities known as the Ka, Ba and Akh which were united in the afterlife. The Ancient Egyptians believed that man was composed of various different entities each having its separate life and functions. These are described as follows:

  • The Kha, Ha or Haw - The mortal Body
  • The Ka a person's life-force or double. A less solid duplicate of the body, like a ghost, which reproduced the deceased feature for feature. The Ancient Egyptians believed that the ka was sustained through food and drink which resulted in offerings of such being presented to the dead
  • The Ba - the Soul. The Ba was able to leave the tomb and revisit the dead person's haunts in the mortal world
  • Akhu (Akh, Khu, Ikhu) -  the immortal part which emerged after the deceased passed judgement after death, and the Ka and Ba united

Purpose of King Tut's Tomb - The Journey of the Ka
The Ancient Egyptians believed that the Ka never left the place where the mummy reposed. It was the Soul and the Akh which embarked on the journey to follow the gods. They, however, kept perpetually returning, like travellers who come home after an absence. The purpose of the tomb of Tutankhamun was therefore as a dwelling-house - the "Eternal House" of the dead.

Purpose of King Tut's Tomb - The Eternal House of the Dead
The Eternal House, or tomb included the private rooms of the Soul, which were closed on the day of burial, and which no living being could enter without being guilty of sacrilege. It also contained the reception rooms of the Ka, where priests and friends brought their offerings and the two were connected by a corridor of more or less length. The purpose of the tomb of King Tut was as a dwelling, and was constructed in such a way as to best promote the well-being, and ensure the preservation, of the dead pharaoh and his Ka, Ba and Ahk.

Purpose of King Tut's Tomb - Provisions for the Ancient Egyptian Afterlife
The Ancient Egyptians provided for their afterlives according to their earthly means. When Tutankhamun died, some of his most most precious  possessions were locked into his tomb to enable him to enjoy a wonderful existence in the afterlife. These items reflected his lifestyle in his mortal existence and included statues, jewelry, furniture, chariots, clothes, knives, spoons, plates, cosmetics, ornaments, cosmetics, scarabs,  seals, weapons and hunting equipment. The number of artefacts found in the Tomb of Tutankhamun numbered over 3500. The fabulous golden treasures buried inside the tomb of King Tut were highly tempting to potential tomb robbers, so his tomb had security elements and its precise location was kept a secret.

Purpose of King Tut's Tomb
Without a tomb (the Eternal House of the Dead), mummification and the proper death rituals Tutankhamun would not have been able to make necessary journeys or achieve a similar existence in the Afterlife, a place of complete bliss, delight and peace, leading a perfect existence in an ideal version of Egypt.

Purpose of King Tut's Tomb
Each section of this website 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

Tomb of King Tut

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