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Tomb Security in Ancient Egypt

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posted on Sep, 7 2016 @ 06:52 PM
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Tomb Security in Ancient Egypt: How and Why Did the Egyptians Protect Their Tombs?


Protecting the dead from abuse is an ancient human instinct but Egypt raised this concern to levels never seen before or since. Tomb robbery is well attested in Egypt from the earliest times and it becomes obvious when looking at the architecture of the Egyptian tomb that physical measures were soon taken to prevent it. This begs several questions: Why did the Egyptians expend such effort in defending their tombs? How did they protect them? And what influence did this have on the design of the tomb?

We know from texts that the Egyptians believed once a burial was interred within its tomb, the structure formed both a repository for the body and a dwelling for two spiritual elements, the ka and the ba, which were integral to a human in life, but separated from it at death. The ka remained in the tomb, whereas the ba could leave during the day to join the world of the living, but had to return at night. However, both had to reunite daily with the body in the tomb to attain the highest spiritual state, which was an akh or ‘effective’ being, able to enjoy eternity on earth and amongst the gods.

source


A nice blog post about how tombs developed in Egypt, from earliest times (before 4,000 BC). What's particularly nice about this is that rather than just pointing out the design elements, Reg Clark also talks about the beliefs and practices -- the ka/ba/akh can be quite confusing to people encountering it for the first time. The drawings make the situation very clear, and the tidbits (sometimes they poured liquid mud in, which set like concrete) are truly interesting.

Pyramid fans may be surprised that Giza doesn't get much of a mention. Indeed, the "holiest" cemeteries is not at Giza, but at Saqqara and Abydos and Helwan, where they had huge religious festivals each year.

Also mentioned are some of the known political reasons for tombs being placed where they are.

This is part of a PhD dissertation... it doesn't go into the tomb guards for the kings, which is another very long and interesting discussion in itself.




posted on Sep, 7 2016 @ 07:00 PM
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a reply to: Byrd

wow, i think im on a trip, if you put "l" after ka-ba, you get KA-BA-L... wooow dude



posted on Sep, 7 2016 @ 07:02 PM
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Is there a printout on the OP/source ?



posted on Sep, 7 2016 @ 07:38 PM
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originally posted by: tikbalang
Is there a printout on the OP/source ?


Linked in the body of the article and available on Amazon. Note: Scholarly book. They're very expensive.

You might be able to get it on a library loan.
edit on 7-9-2016 by Byrd because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 7 2016 @ 09:17 PM
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Very nice find! When I was in college, back in the days of slide rules, I devoured as much as I could on AE. Looking forward to a great discussion after reading and digesting it. S&F



posted on Sep, 7 2016 @ 10:19 PM
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originally posted by: LetsGoViking
Very nice find! When I was in college, back in the days of slide rules, I devoured as much as I could on AE. Looking forward to a great discussion after reading and digesting it. S&F


If you have questions, ask. I'll see what I can dig up from my sources.



posted on Sep, 18 2016 @ 08:35 PM
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a reply to: Byrd
Sorry that it has taken me so long to post again, but, life, the universe and everything...
Finally read the article, and he seems pretty convinced that the Prime Motive for building the tombs in the manner they did was to thwart tomb robbers. While I think his arguments are sound, I also believe that there could have been other societal motives in the manner of their building. I think he somewhat marginalizes the idea that there may have been other forces at work and that security, while certainly a high priority, may not have been the driving force behind the style. I admit that it was well researched and well presented, and I did learn quite a lot in the manner of the buildings, just not convinced of the "why".

What was your take?



posted on Sep, 18 2016 @ 10:45 PM
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I saw an entertaining doc sometime ago about tomb robbers who were the tomb builders themselves, matter of fact it was one in a series detailing the lives of the ancient kemtians some involving greed , corruption and glory , this series is among the better ones I have seen.

I first came across ancient tomb robbers in a work by Margaret Murray in the 80ts The Splendor that was Egypt: A General Survey of Egyptian Culture and Civilisation that described in detail the capture and punishment of some tomb robbers by security their personal details were recorded as to their physical appearance and age, I remembered their punishment was brutal, I am not sure if the doc was related to what she wrote as that was along time ago.
If time permitting pls watch, I promise it will not bore you to tears or insult your intelligence.
edit on 18-9-2016 by Spider879 because: add content



posted on Sep, 18 2016 @ 10:57 PM
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originally posted by: LetsGoViking
ile I think his arguments are sound, I also believe that there could have been other societal motives in the manner of their building. I think he somewhat marginalizes the idea that there may have been other forces at work and that security, while certainly a high priority, may not have been the driving force behind the style. I admit that it was well researched and well presented, and I did learn quite a lot in the manner of the buildings, just not convinced of the "why".


Other than they follow traditional designs and that there's a gradual development here that goes throughout the land - what 'other forces' do you think there might have been?

(we do know why certain designs developed and there's been a lot written about it so it's not easy to summarize in a single article. Or even in a PhD thesis, come to think of it.)



posted on Sep, 18 2016 @ 10:58 PM
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a reply to: Spider879

Heh. In fact, I used part of that very film in teaching one of my Egyptology classes... it was well done and I liked both the costuming and the presentation.



posted on Sep, 23 2016 @ 05:24 PM
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I have a not-so-secret 2 decade long crush on Mark Lehner.



The ancient Egyptians created a simple yet elaborate system of blocks and grooves within the Great Pyramid of Giza to protect the King's Chamber from tomb robbers.......
That system comes to life via computer animations. In the episode, Egyptologist Mark Lehner describes the system for viewers, calling it a "very primitive machine." Lehner leads Ancient Egypt Research Associates



www.livescience.com...



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