Bonus Blog: Burials

The most important aspect of Egyptian archaeology, in my opinion, is the burial technique.  Burials show not only how people are honored in death, but it also gives us clues to how they lived their lives.  First, a burial can tell us about the importance or social status of that person.  People that are well preserved through mummification and have elaborate and intricate designs on their coffins are most likely wealthy and have a high social ranking.  If they are buried with a large amount of grave goods, animals, or servants, they must have been important in their life.  Also, the type of tomb they are buried in exemplifies their status.  Simple burials or even mass graves most likely contain the lower class, while large tombs or even incredible pyramids contain the high officials and pharaohs.

Another interesting part of burials is that people this well mummified still show signs of injuries that occurred during their life.  More importantly, researchers can see if people died from these injuries or if they healed and continued on with their life.  There are sometimes signs of assistance in the healing process, such as prosthetic limbs.  Many diseases that these people had during their life can still be seen in their ancient mummified bodies.  This shows us which diseases were prominent back then and how old people may have lived with them.

Lastly, we can see how animals were treated through mummified burials.  Ancient Egyptians had quality views of animals, and some were even worshipped as gods.  They were mummified using the same methods as humans, and some were even buried with grave goods in their own coffins.  They had their own cemeteries, unless they were pets buried with their loving owners.  Similar to humans, researches can see if animals had injuries before their death or if that is what they died from.  Some animals were clearly killed and sacrificed to gods, while others show signs of being healed, which shows us that the ancient Egyptians had some type of veterinary practices.

Burials can tell us a lot about not only the deaths of the ancient Egyptians, but also about how they lived in life and their importance to others.  If they used that much effort to mummify, bury, and prepare their dead for the afterlife, then humans and animals must really have been sacred in life.

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