In ancient Egypt, grave robbing was
considered the worse crime anyone could commit.
Grave robbers were in a hurry when they
broke into a tomb to steal whatever they could find that had value. They
wanted to grab and get away. The punishment for grave robbing was a
horrible and hideous death. No grave robber wanted to stick around.
Because they were in a hurry, they often broke the cartouche, the name
plate on the coffin, when they opened the coffin. They ripped the fabric
around the mummy, the preserved body, looking for treasure buried in the
wrappings. This put the Ba and Ka at great risk.
The ancient Egyptians believed that
everyone had a soul that split into two parts after you died. One part,
the Ba, watched over your living family. The other, the Ka, enjoyed life
in the Land of Two Fields. At night, both the Ba and the Ka returned to
But if something happened to your tomb,
if your preserved body was damaged or your name was lost, the Ba and Ka
would get lost. They couldn't find you. They would not be able return to
the tomb. If that happened, you were lost forever. You disappeared. And
your afterlife would be over.
You can see why grave robbing, to the
ancient Egyptians, was such a serious crime. They were stealing your
Robbed the Tombs?
Tomb Robbers and Traps
Ba and the Ka
a name plate