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EGYPTIAN CULTURE. RELIGION. Polytheistic – over 2,000 gods. Ra , the sun god; Horus , sky god; Isis , mother goddess “giver of life ” associated with Nile. Above: The pantheon of Egyptian gods.

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Polytheistic – over 2,000 gods

Ra, the sun god; Horus, sky god; Isis, mother goddess “giver of

life” associated with Nile

Above: The pantheon of Egyptian gods

This scene depicts what occurs after a person has died, according to the ancient Egyptians.

The Egyptians had an elaborate and complex belief in the afterlife.

PP Design of T. Loessin; Akins H.S.




Belief in afterlife. The dead were judged by Osiris, god of the dead.

Osiris would weigh each person’s heart on a scale against the weight of a feather. If the heart tipped the scale, heavy with sin, the Devourer of Souls would pounce on the heart. If not, the soul would live forever in the Other World.

PP Design of T. Loessin; Akins H.S.

Desiring to make it to the Other World safely, Egyptians of all classes made special preparations for their burials, including

mummification – embalming and preserving the corpse to prevent it from decaying.

Above:Canopic jars for the body’s various organs.

Right: Coffin of a Middle Kingdom government official.

PP Design of T. Loessin; Akins H.S.

The mummy of Ramses II (1304 -1237 BC ) still preserved today, 3,200 years later, at the Cairo Museum.
Annubis, god of embalming

PP Design of T. Loessin; Akins H.S.

Young males educated as scribes paint the walls of a tomb in preparation for a burial.

PP Design of T. Loessin; Akins H.S.



PP Design of T. Loessin; Akins H.S.; photo British Museum


PP Design of T. Loessin; Akins H.S.

  • Royal Family
  • Upper class
  • Landowners
  • Priests
  • Army commanders
  • Government officials

Wealthy man’s house at Amarna.

Royal barge of Ptolemy IV moored at Memphis.

Bas-relief of servants attending a royal lady.

PP Design of T. Loessin; Akins H.S.

Middle Class
  • (merchants / artisans)
  • Lower class
  • (peasant farmers, unskilled laborers)

Egyptian bronze spear points, 300 BC

Socially Mobile classes

Not “locked in”,

lower and middle classes

could rise up through marriage or through merit (success).

Beautifully carved soapstone

Sphinx storage dish.

Middle Kingdom period

A. Harvesting grain; B. Musicians play for the workers in the fields; C. Women winnowing the grain; D. Scribes tally the farmer’s taxes; E. The farmer’s son tending the livestock / cattle.

PP Design of T. Loessin; Akins H.S.

Did you know…
  • Men and women
  • wore makeup in Egypt.
  • The dark-lined eyes that look out at us from the artwork of ancient Egypt was the height of fashion and was called kohl – powdered minerals mixed with water and applied with a small stick. Both genders also wore lipstick – crushed red ocher (iron oxide) mixed with oil.

Womenhad many of the same rights as men, could own property, could seek divorce.

Later we’ll discover

a couple of women

who actually ruled


PP Design of T. Loessin; Akins H.S.


Pictographs developed into hieroglyphics

Written on Papyrus, unfurled reed from the Nile, dried into strips.

A = Group signs

B = Letter signs

C = Sense signs

PP Design of T. Loessin; Akins H.S.

Deciphering hieroglyphics?

The Rosetta Stone, discovered in 1799 A.D.

The Rosetta Stone can be viewed by tourists today in the British Museum.


Thoth—god of writing

This is a wooden palette. Ancient Egyptian scribes used palettes like this to hold their reed brushes and ink. You can still see the black ink left by a scribe on the left side of the palette where he would have dipped his reed pen.

all seeing eye or "eye of providence."

Annuit—He sees and approves

Coeptis—Our undertakings or enterprise

Novus OrdoSeclorum signifies "the beginning of the new American Æra," which commences from 1776.

“According to legend, the left eye was torn from Horus by his murderous brother Seth, and magically restored by Thoth, the God of magic. After the restoration, some stories state, Horus made a gift of the eye to Osiris, which allowed this solar deity to rule the underworld. The story of this injury is probably an allusion to the phases of the moon as the eye which is "torn out" every month.”

What is the belief in many gods called?
  • What was the Egyptian system of writing called?
  • What is this symbol called?



Eye of Horus

mummy jokes
6. Q: Why did the mummy leave his tomb after 1000 years ?A: Because he thought he was old enough to leave home !

7. Q: Why were ancient Egyptian children confused ?A: Because their daddies were mummies !

Q: Where do mummies go for a swim?A: To the dead sea

Q: Why was the mummy so tense?A: He was all wound up.

Q: Why don't mummies take vacations?A: They're afraid they'll relax and unwind.

Q: Why couldn’t the mummy come outside?A: Because he was all wrapped up!

Q: What is a Mummies' favorite type of music?A: Wrap!!!!!

Mummy Jokes