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For the Egyptians believed that the body must be preserved if the Soul is to live on in the beyond. That is why they prevented the corpse from decaying by an elaborate method of embalming it and binding it up with strips of cloth. It was for the mummy of the king that the pyramid had been piled up, and his body was laid right in the centre of the huge mountain of stone in a stone coffin. Everywhere around the burial chamber, spells and incantations were written to help him on his journey to the other world.

"But it is not only these oldest relics of human architecture which tell of the role played by age-old beliefs in the story of art. The Egyptians held the belief that the preservation of the body was not enough. If the likeness of the king was also preserved, it was doubly sure that he would continue to exist forever. So they ordered sculptors to chisel the king's head out of hard, imperishable granite and put it in the tomb where no one saw it, there to work its spell and to help his Soul to keep alive in and through the image.

Egyptian Art Facts

Egyptian Art Facts


One Egyptian word for sculptor was actually 'He-who-keeps-alive'.  "At first these rites were reserved for kings, but soon the nobles of the royal household had their minor tombs grouped in neat rows around the king's mound, and gradually every self-respecting person had to make provision for his after-life by ordering a costly grave which would house his mummy and his likeness, and where his Soul could dwell and receive the offerings of food and drink which were given to the dead.

Source : Ancient Egyptian Art



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