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incapable of imagining the existence of a corvée which did not need the constant supervision of time-keepers and gangers.
Be this as it may, the Egyptians, as a people, hated forced labour, and the priests found a way for them to escape from it. The means chosen was the Shabti, or Ushabti figure. The meaning of the word Ushabti is unknown. Some associate the name with that of the persea tree (shab, or shabt), but others connect it with the word ushab, "to answer," and think the figure was called Ushabti, because in the text cut upon it the figure "answers” and says: “Verily I am there," etc. The Ushabti figure was a figure made of wood, stone, porcelain, metal, etc., which was intended to represent the person on whose behalf it was fashioned, and it was supposed to carry a digging tool and a basket in which to remove earth or sand from one place to another. In short, the Ushabti figure is a model of a farm labourer or fallah. On the figure it was customary to cut a formula which was supposed to be said by the deceased in the Other World, to this effect: “In the event of my being condemned to spread “ dust (i.e., sebakh or top-dressing) on the fields in the Tuat, “ or to fill the water-courses with water from the river, or to " reap the harvest, such work shall be performed for me by “ thee, and no obstacle shall be put in thy way.” Below this formula were cut the words with which the figure was supposed to answer : “Verily I am there, wheresoever thou mayest “ speak” (or call me). When the deceased found himself in the Other World, and condemned to work in the celestial corvée, he was supposed to utter the words rendered above, and if they had been spoken in a correct tone of voice, the figure would change into a full-grown man, who was provided with a digging tool and basket, and who was capable of performing field labours.
The dread of forced labour in the minds of the Egyptians resulted in the production of the immense numbers of Ushabti figures which are seen in all great museums. The number found in some tombs is very large; thus, Seti I caused 700 to be buried with him, and, at the present time, there are 149 figures in the Ushabtibox of Ankh-f-en-Khensu in Wall-case 116, in the Third Egyptian Room. The collection of Ushabti figures in the
In Egyptian, Shabti Ju Jij, or Ushebti oli, or Shauabti HIM AJ ), WI J ; in the plural, Shabtiu, or Ushabtiu.
British Museum (Second Egyptian Room) is unrivalled, and contains fine specimens of every period from about B.C. 2600 to B.C. 600. Worthy of note are the limestone figure of Åāḥmes I, the fine diorite figure of king Åmen-hetep II, the granite figure of Amen-hetep III, the porcelain and wooden figures of Seti I, and the figures of Rameses III, Rameses V, Psammetichus I, and Uah-åb-Rā (Pharaoh Hophra).
Other figures which were highly esteemed as possessing magical powers were those to which the name of Ptah-SekerÁsár, or Ptah-Socharis-Osiris, has been given (see Second Egyptian Room, Wall-cases 89-92). Ptah was the creator of the world, according to the doctrine of Memphis; Seker was the god of the Other World of Memphis; and Asår, or Osiris, has already been discussed; these three gods were united in the later theology, and the resultant god was regarded as the lord of Heaven, Earth, and the Other World. Figures of this triune god were made of wood, painted or gilded, and fixed on a rectangular stand, in which two cavities were usually hollowed out, one in front of the figure and one at one side. In the cavity in front a little piece of the body of the deceased was placed, and a cover was fitted over it, with a figure of the hawk of Seker upon it; in the cavity in the side of the pedestal a small roll of papyrus inscribed with prayers was inserted. The figure and pedestal were often inscribed with formulas in which the triune god Ptah-SekerAsar was invoked, and it was believed that so long as the portion of the dead body that was in the pedestal of the figure was preserved, the body in the tomb would be kept in its integrity and everlasting life would be assured for the soul. Typical examples of these figures are Nos. 9870 and 9736 (Wall-cases 90 and 91, Second Egyptian Room). Originally the figure on the pedestal was that of Osiris himself, standing upon the symbol of Maāt, or Truth o ; a good example is No. 20,868, which is hollow ; it contained the fine copy of the Book of the Dead of the priestess Anhai, which is in the British Museum (No. 10,472, Wall-case 90, Second Egyptian Room).
We have already seen that, after the murder and mutilation of the body of Osiris, the Man-god of the primitive Egyptians, by Set, the god of evil, Horus the son of Osiris, assisted by a number of beings who are called the Followers of Horus, performed a number of magical ceremonies, whereby the rejoining of the limbs of the god was effected, and the preservation of his body was secured for ever. The Egyptians
i to time to that the soul between the3. He
argued : Certain ceremonies were performed by Horus on the dead body of Osiris, and he was mummified, and as a result he rose from the dead; we therefore will have the ceremonies which were performed over Osiris performed over our dead bodies, which shall be mummified, as was the body of Osiris, and we also shall rise from the dead. Every Egyptian from the time of the IVth dynasty, about B.C. 3600, believed that his existence in the Other World depended upon the mummification of his body in this world, and during his lifetime he made provision for his embalmment, and, when his means permitted, prepared a tomb in which his mummified body should be placed. Now the Egyptian had several reasons for mummifying the dead : 1. He wished the souls of the dead to enjoy everlasting life. 2. He wished to maintain dwelling places for the Kau or “doubles” of the dead, so that they might not be obliged to wander about in the deserts in search of food. 3. He wished the dead to form a bond of union between the gods and himself. 4. He believed that the soul came back to the body from time to time. 5. He believed in the resurrection of the material body itself, and that at some future time it would be united to its soul for all eternity. This last was the chief reason why he preserved the body with spices, unguents, bitumen, etc., and, in spite of the very high state of civilization to which the Egyptians attained, the belief in the supreme importance of mummification was never wholly eradicated from the minds of ordinary folk, even after they had embraced Christianity.
In the most primitive times the dead were mutilated to prevent their returning to their native places to live upon the food needed for the living, but in the Dynastic Period the utmost care was taken to prevent the mutilation of the body, and to preserve it from destruction caused by damp, dry rot, or worms. The texts state plainly that after the resurrection the body was to live upon earth, whilst the soul dwelt in heaven. In the Vth dynasty it was written : “The soul belongeth to heaven, and the body to earth,” and in the VIth dynasty it is said to king Pepi: “Thy essence " belongeth to heaven, and thy body belongeth to earth." The same idea occurs in all dynasties down to the Ptolemaïc Period, when we find in the “Lamentations of Isis” the words addressed to the deceased, who is identified with Osiris : “Heaven hath thy soul, and earth hath thy body."
Before an account of the process of mummification is given, it will be well to note briefly the views which the Egyptians held as to the relationship of the component parts of the material and spiritual man. Most peoples have divided man into three parts, body, soul, and spirit ; but the Egyptian system of the human economy was more complex. The material part of a man was the khat
8, or body. Through mummification, and the prayers which were recited over it after that process, the body obtained a degree of knowledge, and power, and glory, whereby it became henceforth lasting and incorruptible. This glorified body was called a Sāņu
When a man was born into the world there was also born with him an abstract individuality, or personality, which remained with him all the days of his life, and could only be separated permanently from him by death. To this personality is given the name Kau, a word which has been translated by “double, "genius, image, character, person, self,” etc.
When the Ka left the body at death it was necessary for the living to find a habitation, and to provide meat, and drink, and shelter for it. Otherwise it would be obliged to wander about in search of food, and if it failed to find it, would return and wreak vengeance on the living. Provision was therefore made for the Ka in the tomb of the dead person of whom it had once formed a part. First a statue was made in stone, or wood, and fashioned to represent the deceased. Over this a long series of ceremonies was performed, and at the end of them the deceased was declared to have obtained the powers of talking, thinking, walking, etc., and the statue was supposed to be in a fit state to receive the Ka should it be pleased to enter into it and dwell there. A special chamber was set apart in the tomb for the statue, and through an opening in one of the walls which communicated with the hall of the tomb wherein the offerings were made, the Ka inhabiting this statue was able to enjoy the smell of the incense, meat, wine, and other offerings. It had power to leave the statue and to wander about at will on carth and in the Other World ; and there are suggestions in the texts that it might take up its abode in the body of a living man from which his Ka had temporarily gone forth for some purpose of its own.
With the Ka was closely connected the Åb , or heart, which was regarded as the seat of life and the source of the
emotions; it possessed two phases, one material and the other spiritual. It corresponds with the “dual soul ” of many tribes in the Sûdân at the present day. The spiritual heart could be stolen from a man by the exercise of magical powers; and this belief survives among certain peoples in Central Africa at the present day. Another attribute of a man was the Sekhem o f , or vital power, which was intimately connected with the Ka, and seems to have possessed a form similar to it. The mental and spiritual attributes of man were grouped in the Khi
the exact meaning of which it is very hard to define. The Khu seems to have been a shining, translucent, transparent, intangible essence of a man, and the word is on the whole perhaps best rendered by spirit. The Khu escaped from the tomb and made its way to heaven, where it joined the “imperishable spirits" who lived with Rā. It is probable that the Sāhu, Ab, Sekhem, and Khu were all attributes of the Ka.
That part of a man which was, beyond all doubt, believed to be everlasting and to enjoy eternal existence in heaven in a state of glory, was the Ba 2 ', or soul; it was associated with the Ka, and, like the heart, appears to have possessed a dual nature. It could live in a state of invisibility, and yet could take form at pleasure ; it is often depicted as a human-headed hawk,
. The object of all the ceremonies which were performed over the mummy or the statue in the tomb was to bring back the soul from heaven to the body in which it dwelt on earth, and when the priest told the kinsfolk of the deceased that “ Horus had recovered his eye,” i.e., that the soul had returned to the body, they felt that everlasting life and happiness were secured for him. The souls of the blessed lived with the “spirits” in the heaven of Rā, and when they appeared in the sky they did so under the form of stars.
The soul was usually accompanied by the Khaibit I , or shadow, which may be compared with the oria of the Greeks, and the umbra of the Romans. It had an independent existence, and was able to separate itself from the body at will, but hostile fiends might attack it, and therefore the deceased prays in the Book of the Dead