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The ancient Egyptians believed that real life began after the death of the body. It is for this purpose that so much deliberation and concern went into organizing the places where bodies would be brought to rest at the moment of death. The rich had the walls of their tombs carved exquisitely, and rich foods and jewels as well, were left there along with the body. The walls of the tombs also depicted Egyptian gods leading the person’s soul through judgment, and finally to his allotted area. Poor Egyptians were buried in the sand, but also made efforts to ensure that their bodies would first be mummified. (Bishop, 1999)
The preservation of the body was very important to ancient Egyptians. They believed that a soul would need it in the next life and so took measures to ensure its maintenance. Mummification, an embalming process that took 70 days, was done to dry the body. Large amounts of natron were also employed to hasten the drying process. Canopy jars were then utilized to hold the mummified remains of the body parts that had been removed.
The early Minoans in northern and eastern Crete were also seemingly preoccupied with the dead. They carved out in caves, elaborate house tombs for their dead, a norm that suggests that they considered that the deceased person would go on with a new life in death and that he would need his house (Bishop, 1999).
Even in ancient China, the populace believed that the soul of a dead person continued to exist in another form once it left the body. It was deemed that it would require everything it possessed in earthly life to be comfortable. The ancient Chinese slaughtered the livestock and actual family of the deceased so that they could accompany him in his new existence. This was a practice observed by many ancient cultures inclusive of the Egyptians (Bishop, 1999).
Today’s death practices in various parts of the world involve morticians
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