Ancient Egyptians believed in an
afterlife, a real and beautiful place, where they played and lived
after they died. To enjoy your afterlife, you couldn't just die. You
had to prepare. To achieve immortality, you had to satisfy some
(1) Your name had to be written down.
You had to have your name written down somewhere, the more places
the better. If it was not written down, you disappeared.
(2) You had to pass the Weighing of
the Heart. You had to pass the weighing of the heart test in the
Hall of Maat. Your heart was weighed against the weigh of a magic
feather. If your heart was light, because you had lived a good, hard
working, caring life, the scale would balance, and you would go to
heaven. If it did not, well, that was another story.
(3) You had to have a preserved body.
Another thing you needed to move on to the afterlife was a preserved
body. One way to preserve the body of a person who had died was to
dry them out and wrap them up with linen bandages. That process was
You needed a preserved body so that your Ba
and Ka, the two pieces of your soul, could find their way home at
night back to your tomb. Without a body,
the Ba and Ka would get lost. And they would no longer be able to
reach the heavenly Land of Two Fields.
The poor placed the bodies of their
dead relatives out in the desert sand. The bodies dried naturally in
the sun. That was a perfectly good system. It assured the dead a place
in the afterlife (provided their heart was light from doing lots of
good deeds while they were alive, and their name was written down
The rich could afford to be more fussy.
They hired professional mummy makers, to help them look their very
a Mummy and Prepare a Pharaoh for his tomb (interactive)
a Mummy (magic book lesson)
and the Underworld Challenge
Mummy of Hornedjitef
The Clickable Mummy
- Magic School Bus (interactive)
of Science - Mummies
for the Afterlife