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Taylor, John H, () "Death and resurrection in Ancient Egyptian society" from Taylor, John H, Death and the afterlife in ancient Egypt pp, London.
Table of contents

For the ancient Egyptians, the story of Osiris is one of tragedy and hope; it is nothing less than the promise of everlasting life.

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The Osiris legend is perhaps the oldest resurrection story of the ancient world. According to scholars of Ancient Egyptian religion , Osiris might have been an early king of a small state on the Nile delta. He was credited with introducing early Egyptians to the cultivation of grain, wheat, and barley and ending the practice of cannibalism.


Osiris was the law-giver and taught Egyptians how to worship the gods. He also introduced the growing of vines, resulting in wine production. Within religious texts and myths about the ancient Egyptian gods , Osiris was the son of the god Geb and the goddess Nut, born with four other siblings: Horus, Set, Nephthys, and Isis, the latter becoming his wife.

Osiris was hated by his brother Set who contrived to murder him upon his return to Egypt; after teaching the Egyptians, Osiris traveled to western Asia, teaching other cultures.

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Along with 72 other conspirators, Set invited Osiris to a party during which he tricked his brother into climbing into a specially made coffin. Once inside, the lid was flung over the coffin and it was sealed, suffocating Osiris. The coffin was then floated down the Nile. Securing the coffin, Isis returned to Egypt.

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While Isis retrieved her son, Set found the coffin and tore the body of Osiris to pieces. Some scholars suggest 14, other cite 16 pieces. Isis again traveled the land of Egypt, collecting the body parts yet burying copies of each part in different cities to confuse her enemies. A deep shaft led to the underground burial chamber in what is called a mastaba.

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  • Mastabas were mostly utilized for non-royal burials. The rooms built adjacent to the burial chamber were stocked with food and equipment for use after death, similar to the elite and royal burials. Walls were decorated with scenes depicting their assumptions of daily activities.

    Mastabas were built with a chapel, including a sacrificial altar. A false door was created through which the souls of the deceased traveled in and out of the burial chamber.

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    Is the Bible True? Who is God? Is Jesus God? What Do You Believe? The text also reflects recent developments in the interpretation of Egyptian burial practices, and incorporates the results of much new scientific research. Newly acquired information derives from a range of sophisticated applications, such as the use of noninvasive imaging techniques to look inside the wrappings of a mummy, and the chemical analysis of materials used in the embalming process.

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    Authoritative, concise, and lucidly written, Death and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt illuminates aspects of this complex, vibrant culture that still perplex us more than 3, years later. Death and Resurrection in Ancient Egyptian Society 2. The Eternal Body: Mummification 3. Provisioning the Dead 4.