From the dawn of history to the coming of Christianity, the ancient Egyptians seem to have cherished hope of eternal life. Even the most simple of graves from the Pre-dynastic period to the end of the Pharaonic era contained grave goods, which appear to have been placed beside the body to provide for the needs of the deceased in the Afterlife. Death was regarded as a welcome passage from this life to the next. All those who could afford it, therefore, spent much of their adult life preparing an appropriate burial place.
This new volume offers an intriguing insight into the burial practices of the ancient Egyptians. It looks in detail at architecture and construction techniques, from mudbrick and stone pyramids to rock-cut tombs, and traces the development of individual tombs into lavish complexes devoted to the Underworld. These sites also give us an insight into ancient beliefs: paintings, statues, carvings and texts depict scenes both from mythology and from daily life. The Great Pyramids themselves, one of the Ancient Wonders of the World, are testimony to the status of the kings, who were worshipped as gods after death.
Lavishly illustrated with beautiful photographs and detailed plans of the major sites, this informative book will inspire the reader with its fresh and authoritative view of this fascinating ancient civilization.
Lorna Oakes is a lecturer in Egyptology at Birkbeck College, University of London. She is also a Special Assistant in the Education Service of the British Museum and regularly takes part in the programme of public gallery talks and lectures on ancient Egypt and the Near East. For the past fifteen years Lorna has led many study tours to Egypt, a country which she loves and where she has many friends.