Mummies in Egypt

  • Jehane Ragai
  • Gregg DeYoung
Living reference work entry

Mummification was practiced in ancient Egypt to ensure the continued existence of the deceased. At death, several spirits were believed to be released, the most important of which were the Ka, the Ba, and the Akh. A person’s fate in the afterlife, in the form of these three spirits, was believed to be directly tied to the continued existence of the physical body.

The Ka, appearing at birth, resembled the human physical body in all aspects. After death, it remained in the tomb with the mummified body, acting as a protective spirit, and fed on the daily offerings presented at the tomb. The Ba embodied the personality and individual characteristics of the person. It also appeared at birth but, after death, was believed to fly off to heaven, returning regularly to visit the Ka and the body. It sometimes seemed to serve as the “spiritual link” between the two. The Akh, after a silent or dormant existence during the person’s life, separated from the body at death and embarked on a journey...


Linen Ball Desert Sand Palm Wine Egyptian Mummy Persian Word 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The American University in CairoCairoEgypt