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An attempt may now be made to describe briefly what Egyptian happened after death to the body of a man of high rank who departed this life at Thebes towards the end of the XVIIIth according or beginning of the XIXth dynasty, that is to say about B.C. monu1400. The facts are all known, and therefore nothing need ments. be invented; it is only necessary to gather them together and to bring them to a focus on the person of one man. We must imagine then that we are living on the east bank of the Nile, near the temple of Åinen-Rā, “lord of the thrones of the earth," in the fifteenth century before Christ. One morning before the day has dawned, even before the officials who conduct the early services in the temples are astir, we are awakened by loud cries of grief and lamentation, and on making inquiries we are told that Ani, the great scribe of the offerings of the gods in the temple of Amen-Rā, is dead. As he was the receiver of the revenues of the gods of Abydos, as well as of Amen-Rā of Thebes, first prophet of Àmen, and the precentor who stood on the threshold of the temple morning by morning to lead off the hymn of praise to the sun, his death naturally causes great excitement in the temples and the immediate neighbourhood; as his forefathers for five or six generations have been temple officers of the highest rank, it is certain that his funeral will be a great event, and that numbers of the hereditary aristocracy and government officials will assist at the ceremony. He leaves no wife to mourn for him, for she is already dead, and is now lying in a chamber of a splendid tomb, not yet finished, however, nine miles away across the river, awaiting the coming of her husband. She was called Tutu, and belonged to one of the oldest and most honourable families in Thebes; she was a member of the famous college of singers of Amen-Rā, and also a member of the choir of ladies, each one of whom carried a sistrum or a tambourine in the temple of that god. Ani began to hew out the tomb for himself and his wife many Tomb years ago, and during his lifetime he spared neither pains nor expense in making it one of the largest and finest ever known for a person of lower rank than a king. Ani was not a very old man when he died, although his step was slow and his back somewhat bent; in stature he was of middle height, and
his features had a kind but dignified look, and though comparatively few loved him, all respected him for his uprightness and integrity. He was a learned man, and knew the literature of Egypt well; he himself wrote a fine, bold hand, and was no mean artist with his pencil. He was a tried servant of the king, and loved him well, but he loved his god Ámen more, and was very jealous for his honour, and the glory of his worship in the temple of the Apts. All his ancestors had been in the service of the god, and it was even said that the oldest of them had seen Amen, who, until the expulsion of the Hyksos by the kings of Thebes, had occupied the position of a mere local deity, suddenly become the national god of Egypt. Whether Ani believed in his innermost heart any or all of the official religion is another matter ; his official position brought him into contact with the temporal rather than the spiritual affairs of the Egyptian religion, and whatever doubts he may have had in matters of belief, or concerning the efficacy of the magic of his day, etc., etc., he said nothing about them to any man.
For some days past it had been seen that Ani's death was to be expected, and many of his colleagues in the temple had come to see him from time to time, one bringing a charm, another a decoction of herbs, etc., and a few had taken it in turns to stay in his room for some hours at a time. One night his illness took a decidedly serious turn, and early in the morning, a short time before daybreak, when, as the Orientals say, the dawn may be smelled, Ani died. The news of his death spreads rapidly through the quarter, for all the women of his house rush frantically through the streets, beating their breasts, and from time to time clutching at their hair, which is covered with handfuls of the thick dust of the streets, after the manner of Anpu in the Tale of the Two Brothers, and uttering wailing cries of grief. In the house, parties of mourning women shriek out their grief, and all the members of the house add their tears and sobs. The steward of the house has, however, sent across the river to the cher-heb or priest who superintends and arranges the funerals of the wealthy and great, and informed him of Ani's death, and as quickly as possible this official leaves his
Death of Ani.
house near the Valley of the Tombs of the Kings, and together with his assistants, makes his way with all haste to Ani's house. Having arrived there he takes Ani's body into Ani's his charge, and proceeds to discuss the method by which the given to body shall be preserved, and the style of the funeral. While the em
balmers. his assistants are taking away the body to the embalming house, he sends quickly to the western bank of the Nile, and summons his chief mason to his presence; after a short time he arrives, and the cher-heb instructs him to go to Ani's tomb with a body of men, and to finish hewing whatever chambers and pillars remain in a half completed state, to plaster the walls, and to paint upon them scenes for which he supplies him with details and notes. The cher-heb knows that for many years past Ani, and one or two of his friends among the scribes, had been writing and illuminating with vignettes a fine copy of the “Book of the Dead"; he remembers that this work remains unfinished, and he therefore sets a skilful scribe to finish it in the style in which Ani would probably have finished it. Parties of professional mourners are next organized, and these go round about the city at stated times, singing in chorus, probably accompanied by some musical instrument, funereal dirges, the subjects of which were the shortness of life and the certainty that all must die, and the virtues of the dead man. These dirges were sung twice daily, and Dirges for
the dead. Ani's friends and colleagues, during the days of mourning, thought it to be their duty to abstain from wine and every kind of luxury, and they wore the simplest and plainest garments, and went quite unadorned.
Meanwhile it was decided that Ani's funeral should be one of the best that money could purchase, and as while he was alive he was thought to be in constant communion with the gods, his relatives ordered that his body should be mummified in the best possible way, so that his soul A ba, and his intelligence sexu, when they returned some thousands of years hence to seek his body in the tomb, might find Object his l_ka or “genius” there waiting, and that all three might balmment. enter into the body once more, and revivify it, and live with it for ever in the kingdom of Osiris. No opportunity must
perishable body 2
be given for these four component parts of the whole of a man to drift away one from the other, and to prevent this the
xa must be preserved in such a way that each limb of it may meetly be identified with a god, and the whole of it with Osiris, the judge of the dead and king of the nether world. The tomb must be made a fit and proper dwelling-place for the ka, which will never leave it as long as the body to which it belongs lies in its tomb. The furniture of the tomb must be of the best, and every material, and the workmanship thereof, must also be of the best.
The cher-heb next goes to the embalming chamber and
orders his assistants to begin their operations upon Ani's body, The cm
over which formulæ are being recited. The body is first balmment. washed and then laid upon the ground, and one of the
assistants traces with ink on the left side, over the groin, a line, some few inches long, to indicate where the incision is to be made in the body; another assistant takes a knife, probably made of flint, and makes a cut in the body the same length as the line drawn in ink by his companion. . Whether this man was then driven away with sticks, and stones thrown after him, as Diodorus states, or not, is a moot point upon which the inscriptions give us no information. The chief intestines and the heart and lungs were then carefully taken out and washed in palm wine, and stuffed with sweet smelling spices, gums, etc. They were next smeared all over with an unguent, and then carefully bandaged with strips of linen many yards long, on which were inscribed the names of the four children of Horuswho symbolized the four cardinal points and of the four goddesses who took the intestines under their special protection. While this was being done a set of four alabaster jars was brought from the stores of the cher-heb's establishment, and in each of these one of the four packets of
embalmed intestines was placed. Each jar was inscribed with a forinula, and all that was wanted to make it the property of Ani was to inscribe his name upon it in the blank spaces left for the purpose. Each jar had a cover made in Jars for the form of the head of the child of Horus to whom it was
intestines. dedicated. The jar of Mestha had the head of a man, and in it was placed the stomach ; it was under the protection of Isis. The jar of Hāpi had the head of an ape, and in it were placed the smaller intestines; it was under the protection of Nephthys. The jar of Țuamāutef had the head of a jackal, and in it was placed the heart ; it was under the protection of Neith. The jar of Qebħsennuf had the head of a hawk, and in it was placed the liver; it was under the protection of Serqet. The inscriptions on the jars state that the part of the deceased in it is identified with the child of Horus to whom the jar is dedicated, and that the goddess under whose charge it is protects it. The covers of the jars are fastened on by running in liquid plaster, and they are finally set in the four divisions of a coffer on a sledge with a vaulted cover and a projecting rectangular upright at each corner. It was of the greatest inportance to have the intestines preserved intact, for without them a man could not hope to live again. The brain is Removal
of brain. next removed through the nostrils by means of an iron rod curved at one end, and is put aside to be dried and buried with the body; at every step in these processes religious formulæ are recited. The body thus deprived of its more perishable parts is taken and laid to soak in a tank of liquid natron for a period of seventy days. At the end of this time it is taken out and carefully washed and dried, and it is seen that it is of a greenish-grey colour; the skin clings to the The body bones, for the flesh beneath it has shrunk somewhat, but the steeped in hair of the body is well preserved, the nails of the hands and feet still adhere to the skin, and the face, though now drawn and very thin, has changed but little. Longitudinal slits are next made in the fingers and toes and the fleshy parts of the arms, thighs and legs, which are then stuffed with a mixture of sweet spices and natron, and sewn up again. The cavity in
1 In mummies of the best period the intestines are sometimes found in packets beneath the bandages. B. M.