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Religion and its Effects on Continuity and Stability. Comp Civ 12 Mrs MacT. Creating a hypothesis. Historians often have only fragmentary pieces with which to reconstruct the past Must make “educated guesses” Speculation Collecting evidence Creating a hypothesis

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creating a hypothesis
Creating a hypothesis
  • Historians often have only fragmentary pieces with which to reconstruct the past
  • Must make “educated guesses”
    • Speculation
    • Collecting evidence
    • Creating a hypothesis

Our view of the past changes as new evidence emerges

evolution of egyptian burial practices
Evolution of Egyptian Burial Practices
  • The practice of Egyptian mummification developed out of a need to mimic a natural process so that the bodies of deceased people would remain intact and secure so that an afterlife could be enjoyed
  • Early Egyptian burials were in the sands of the desert so as not to use valuable fertile ground for graveyards
  • Shifting sands or scavenging animals often exposed the deceased
  • Once exposed, the bodies were found to be intact; rapid desiccation (drying) essentially preserved the body
  • Later burials were in reed boxes, presumably to protect the bodes from shifting sands or scavengers
  • Burials in reed boxes trapped moisture, leading to the decay of the bodies
  • Mummification provided a method of preserving the body similar to desiccation, which would allow for burial in sarcophagi and tombs so that intact bodies would last for eternity and enjoy an afterlife
egyptian tombs
Egyptian Tombs
  • Evolution of tombs in ancient Egypt
  • Take notes on your handout 
pits in the desert sand
Pits in the Desert Sand
  • Oval pit graves
  • Natural mummification (hot sand)
  • Grave goods (afterlife)
  • Later, elite added wooden/clay coffins and sarcophagi (outer coffin)
  • Wooden roofs and plaster/mud linings = rectangular, sand free tombs
  • Stone piles marked location
mastabas low bench
Mastabas: “low bench”
  • Saqqara
    • Memphis
  • Temple of Re
    • Heliopolis
  • Tombs for high ranking civil servants
  • Burial chamber cut into bedrock
  • Wood lined ceiling covered with a low mound and surrounded by a low rectangular mud brick building
  • Storage chambers in superstructure (above ground) vulnerable to thieves so later moved to underground storage with a solid block on top
step pyramid
Step Pyramid
  • Example: Djoser’s pyramid
    • Build by Imhotep
  • Started as a square mastaba
  • Extensions added on to create the stepped appearance
  • Symbolic of creation/stairs to heaven
  • Subterranean tunnels, galleries, and rooms surrounded Djoser’s burial chamber
  • Surrounding the pyramid where his mortuary complex, including courts and buildings with their own special functions/magic
true pyramid
True Pyramid
  • The Great Pyramid
  • Based on the step pyramid
  • Structurally the same as the step pyramid; consists of packing blocks that are stacked until the right dimensions are achieved
  • Central burial chamber
  • Gilded peak to capture the sun’s rays
  • Finished off with limestone “finishing blocks”
  • Final product more appealing than stepped pyramids
rock cut tombs in the valley of the kings and queens
Rock-cut tombs in the Valley of the Kings and Queens
  • Elaborate, deep underground tombs
  • constructed in an area dominated by a huge natural pyramid-shaped formations
  • Easier to conceal the tombs from robbers
  • Tombs were decorated with scenes of the journey that the king (or queen) would take as they moved from this life to the afterlife and showing the King in the presence of major deities and making offerings to them
  • The scenes were highly colored and drawn from vignettes from the book of the dead and related subjects

The royal tombs of, from top to bottom, Tutmosis III, Horamhab and Queen Nefertari (New Kingdom)

you try
You try!
  • Read, Evolution of Egyptian Tombs handout
  • Create a hypothesis to explain the changes in tomb structure/design
  • Review pages 69-74 to find evidence to support your hypothesis
final task
Final task:
  • Create a series of hypothesis that explain the relationship between religious beliefs and continuity/stability in ancient Egypt

1. Provide a concise definition for each of the key features of Egyptian theology at the centre of the sheet

    • You can find info on pages 68-69

2. Respond to the questions on the sheet and create a hypothesis for each circle

Record your answers to 1 & 2 on chart paper (copy out the diagram onto the chart) 