What I take away from this week’s lectures/readings is the shear power that a Pharaoh and the rest of the bureaucracy that governs the state. I was aware of the fact that the pyramids were constructed under the Pharaoh’s command and that it would typically be his tomb, but I was unaware of the outlying graves that were his political followers.
Another interesting aspect from the readings in particular was the fate of those who served some Pharaohs. In particular around the 1st Dynasty when Pharaohs would have their servants sacrificed to serve them in the afterlife. It would have been a tough life being a servant to a Pharaoh. The vast number of possessions which were included in the pyramids for the Pharaoh is also an interesting concept. I understand that the Egyptians were large believers in their life in the Underworld, but I like to believe there is more to the story of them keeping their possessions. It would be nice to think that they preserved these goods for the future archaeologists to eventually find them, but then again that would be like grave-robbing which most pyramids were built to prevent.
After learning about how the political hierarchy in ancient Egypt, the fact that many of the viziers were buried around the Pharaoh tells me that the political power was intended to be kept localized as a single entity. I would imagine that when a Pharaoh passed on, he imagined that he would continue to reign in the afterlife and thus wanted to keep his administration close as to not have to find them in the Underworld. This is especially true with the fact that the servants were sacrificed as I mentioned before. A Pharaoh could not have believed that he would have been stripped of power upon death and so I think it is absolutely plausible to believe that an “Underworld Hierarchy” could have been envisioned by the people of Egypt.