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Pagan Roots of Modern Funeral Practices


His duties also included the wrapping that mummies are known for. ... The Egyptians were credited with discovery simply because they were the first to disclose how it ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Pagan Roots of Modern Funeral Practices

Comunicación y Gerencia
  • Chapter 1
  • Pagan Roots of Modern Funeral Practices

Funeral Customs of the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans
and Christians
The Ancient Egyptians
  • The ancient period was from 6000
  • b.c. to 600 a.d.

  • During this period it is noted over 400, 000,000
    bodies were embalmed!!
  • The Ancient Egyptians were credited with
  • Do you think that the Egyptians were the first
    civilization to embalm their dead?

  • No, since the beginning of time civilizations
    have tried to preserve their dead.
  • The Egyptians were credited with discovery simply
    because they were the first to disclose how it
    was done.
  • Why do you think they embalmed the bodies of the

  • Sanitation-
  • The Nile river flooded annually and therefore
    made it unsanitary for burial in areas close to
    the river which most of the Egyptians lived .
  • Religious-
  • The Egyptians believed in an afterlife through
    the cult of Osiris.

  • Osiris-
  • Osiris was the Egyptian god of the underworld
    and the judge of the dead.
  • It was believed that the sun was the center of
    the universe.
  • When a person died it was their belief that they
    were to travel to the sun and back in a circuit
    called the..
  • Circle of Necessity.

  • The Egyptians believed that the Circle of
    Necessity journey took 3000 years.
  • If the body was still preserved after the 3000
    years the soul would not forsake the bodyThus
    the primary reason for embalming was a religious
  • You should now see why preservation was so
    important !!!!!

Egyptian scene the Balance.
Egyptian scene the Balance.
   As shown here, the soul's journey toward
eternal life in the kingdom of Osiris takes the
soul first through a series of portals, where he
must answer complex ritual questions posed by the
14 Guardians of the Way, seated above. Then the
soul is led by Anubis to the scales, where his
heart is weighed in the balance against the
feather of Truth. If the heart is heavy with
guile and deceit, and the pan that holds the
feather rises, Anubis tosses the heart to the
monster Am-mit, who devours it. But if the heart
is as simple and light as truth itself, the
soul's life is assured. After Thoth, at center,
records the outcome, Horus leads the soul into
the presence of Osiris, seated with Isis and
Nephthys behind him, and the four sons of Horus
emerging from the lotus at the front of the
King's throne.
  • Anubis The God Of Embalming and Mummification.

In ancient Egypt, Anubis was the jackal-headed
god of embalming who guided the souls of the dead
through the underworld kingdom of his father,
Osiris. Considered benevolent and good, Anubis
was present at the weighing of the dead person's
soul, and was also at home in the heavenly sky
realms of Ra. His mother was the goddess
Nephthys, who along with Isis, Set, and Osiris
were the children of the sky goddess Nut and the
earth god Geb. Occasionally Anubis is
considered the son of Set, but in the more
prevalent myth, Nephthys left Set and seduced her
sister's husband, Osiris or as some myths say Ra
the Sun God. She conceived Anubis, but when he
was born she abandoned him in the wilderness.
Isis found Anubis with the aid of some dogs, and
she raised him. When Anubis grew up, he guarded
his foster mother faithfully, and he accompanied
Isis and Osiris whenever they journeyed through
the world.
  • Anubis

When Set murdered and dismembered his brother
Osiris, the sisters Isis and Nephthys searched
for his body. When they found all the pieces of
the Osiris' body, it was Anubis who invented the
art of embalming and mummification so that his
father (or step-father) could live again and
reign in the world of the dead. Anubis is often
depicted as a man with the head of a jackal or a
dog but is sometimes shown as having the body of
a jackal or dog as well. Sometimes he is depicted
with one side of his face white or golden and the
other black at other times as being completely
black but holding a green palm leaf aloft, to
symbolize his position in both the heavenly as
well as touching on the earthly realms. Anubis
was also the God of poisons and medicines due his
supplying such things during the mummification of

Methods of Egyptian Embalming
  • There were three methods of embalming

Medium Priced
Methods of Egyptian Embalming
  • Old school of Embalming
  • Modern school of embalming

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Expensive Method of Embalming
  • The expensive method of embalming consisted of 5

1. The brain was removed through the ear and nose
with a hook type of instrument
Expensive Method of Embalming
2. The body was eviscerated and the vital organs
were placed in jars called canopic jars which
were named after the 4 sons of Horus.
Who was Horus?
  • Horus
  • The One Far Above
  • Appearance
  • man with the head of a hawk
  • a hawk
  • Horus was a god of the sky
  • He was probably most well known as the protector
    of the ruler of Egypt

Who was Horus?
The Egyptians believed that the pharaoh was the
living Horus.
  • Horus Standard
  • Horus was the son of Isis and Osiris. After
    Osiris was murdered by his brother Seth, Horus
    fought with Seth for the throne of Egypt. In this
    battle, Horus lost one of his eyes. This eye was
    restored to him and it became a symbol of
    protection for the ancient Egyptians. After this
    battle, Horus was chosen to be the ruler of the
    world of the living

Who was Horus?
  • The Eye of Horus.
  • One of the best-preserved temples in Egypt was
    dedicated to Horus. It is located in Upper Egypt
    at a town called Edfu.

The four sons of Horus
  • Hapi-Baboon/Dog headed-Guardian of the Small
  • Tuamutef-Jackal headed-Guardian of the Lungs and
  • Qebehsenuef-Falcon/Hawk headed-Guardian of the
    Liver and Gallbaldder.
  • Mestha-Human headed-Guardian of the Stomach and
    Large Intestine.

Expensive Method of Embalming
3. The body was then soaked in a natronic (sodium
During this process the finger and toenails fell
off, which were sewn back on with golden thread
which added to the cost of the embalming.
Expensive Method of Embalming
4. After 20-70 days of soaking in the natronic
solution, the body was removed and then dried in
the sun.
5. The last step was, the body was bandaged and
spiced. Up to 1,200 yards of 3 ¼ inch cloth was
This entire process took up to 120 days to
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Expensive Method of Embalming
This method would have cost about 5000.00 in
U.S. money today.
What percent of Egyptians do you think were
embalmed with this method?
Expensive Method of Embalming
Only about 2!
How does that correlate with our society today?
Medium Priced Method of Embalming
  • This medium priced of embalming only consisted of
    three steps.

1. Cedar oil was injected into the abdominal
cavity in order to dissolve and dehydrate
internal organs.
2. The body was pickled in the natronic solution
for 70 days.
Medium Priced Method of Embalming
3. The body was then dried in the sun and
returned to the family.
At this point the family would bury their family
member in a selected place.
What percent of Egyptians were embalmed with this
Medium Priced Method of Embalming
Only about 18 were embalmed with this method.
This method cost about 1200.oo in U.S. money
Medium Priced Method of Embalming
This leaves about 80 of the Egyptian population
to be embalmed with one of the 3 inexpensive
Inexpensive Methods of Embalming
1. The body was pickled in a natronic solution.
2. The body was tarred.
3.The body was simply tanned
Why do you think the Egyptians were so successful
with their embalming methods???
Embalming Specialists
1. The Kher-heb, also known as the priest was in
charge of the Necroplis (City of the Dead).
He was the supervisor, but did not touch the
bodies because he was considered a holy man and
the body was thought unclean.
Embalming Specialists
2. The Scribe, also known as the lawyer.
He drew the line of the place of the incision on
the abdomen.
Embalming Specialists
1. The Dissector, also known as the paraschisties
He was the one who made the incision through
which the vicera were removed. His duties were
considered taboo and he was stoned after each
performance of his duties. It was severe at first
but in later periods was merely a token ritual.
Embalming Specialists
1. The pollinctor, also known as the Apothecary.
He was the one who mixed all of the medicines and
materials to be used for the embalming process.
Where else have you heard the term Apothecary?
Embalming Specialists
1. The Embalmer, also known as the Surgeon or
He was in charge of the actual embalming. His
duties also included the wrapping that mummies
are known for.
This would then make you a Post Mortem Vascular
Egyptian things to remember.
1. The basic reason underlying the practice of
mummification was the belief that it was
necessary to preserve the body in the most
perfect form that it may be rejoined with the
2.The Egyptians were mummified as a matter of
3. The Egyptian embalmers belonged to the
priestly class.. Embalming was a religious
ritual as well as a physical operation.
From the earliest times until now, Egyptian
embalming has continued to rouse lively interest
and admiration, and from Ancient Egypt to
present, neither the idea nor the practice of
embalming has ever been lost, nor for that
matter, was there ever an eclipse of knowledge as
to the general proceedure wich the Egyptians used.
Lets now take a break and well come back and get
into the Ancient Greek Civilization.