A large amount of archaeological findings in Egypt are mortuary remains. There is much we can learn from the ways in which people bury their dead. There are many cultural differences in putting people to rest through out antiquity that can be seen across Egypt.
In Tell el’ Omari, settlers practiced bury their dead below the floors of their circular houses, similar to Mediterranean cultures at this time. Only about two or three people were buried under these structures, most likely those who had resided in these homes and had past away while living there. Other places like Ma’adi practiced burying their dead in cemeteries like many other cultures at this time. This is comparable to Native Americans who buried the deceased in burial mounds near their settle meant.
While many buried their loved ones close to home, the ancient Romans had different practices. Like many Egyptians, they had tombs and cemeteries but they did not allow anyone to be buried inside the walls of the city to supposedly keep out diseases. It was not until Rome expanded that the dead were allowed inside the sacred walls of the city.
We can also learn a great deal by the artifacts found with buried bodies in these mortuary locations. Many believed that the deceased would need certain goods to help them get to the afterlife and to stay there in peace. For example, as I mentioned in my first blog post, Tutankhaman was buried with oars to possibly help him travel to the after life.
Burial rituals varied through out antiquity and as people mobilized and cultures intertwined, changes in customs occurred in Egypt. Mortuary beliefs reflected the social and spirituals ideas of a group of people and archaeological remains show patterns throughout regions of ancient Egypt that can tell us a great deal about the expansion of belief systems and how they have influenced other systems. Burial remains, their location and special goods, have helped archaeologists study the mortuary customs of not only Egyptians but culture all over the world.