Nile Barge to the Afterlife

The Egyptians had very interesting concepts about the afterlife.  That’s partly why they buried their pharaohs with food, wine and honey.  They also buried them with their bow and arrow, spears, jewelry, gold, cups, dishes and other accoutrements of this earthly life because, in their way of thinking, they  may need those things in the afterlife to fight off river monsters or enemies.  They wanted to be sure that they didn’t want for anything in the next world.

The Egyptians also had concepts about reward and punishment in the afterlife.  The believed, for example, that after death, a person’s heart would be put on a balance scale.  The heart went on one side and a feather on the other.  Only the one whose heart was lighter than the feather (not weighed down by evil) would be truly blessed in the life to come.

One of the things frequently found in Egyptian tombs was a small, wooden boat, an image of a Nile River barge.  It was this boat that was to ferry the spirit of the person to the next world.  There was such a boat at the Michael Carlos Museum here in Atlanta and I took a photo of it.  Unfortunately, the light wasn’t the best so I had to use a fairly wide F-stop (meaning part of the picture fades into blurriness the farther away you get from the focal point, which in this case was towards the front part of the boat.)  Still, I thought it was an interesting picture, and worth contemplating the hands that carved it, painted it, and lovingly placed it in the tomb for the departed to have a smooth journey to the afterworld.

Egyptian Funeral Barge from an Egyptian Tomb

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1945, U.S. paratroopers landed on the Philippine island of Corregidor which was defended by 5,000 Japanese soldiers.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Charles Schultz’ 1998 biography, written by Rheta Grimsley Johnson, is titled “Good Grief!”


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