Religion

The ancient Egyptians believed that there were many gods of the dead. Osiris was the god of the underworld and prince of the dead. Isis was his wife. Anubis was the jackal-headed god of the embalmers. Horus was the god of the sky. Udjat, or the left eye of Horus, was the protector of the dead. Thoth was the ibis-headed god of the scribes. Another symbol of Thoth was the baboon. A baboon was found by archaeologists mummified in a sitting position so that it could write with ease.

In ancient Egypt it was believed that a person had a ba or soul of that was a bird with a human head. It was also believed that a person had an invisible twin called the ka. The ba kept in touch with the friends and family of the dead and the ka went back and forth from the other world where the gods and goddesses of the dead lived. The ka traveled to the other world on a boat. Small boats were put in the tombs to provide transportation for the ka. Some boats had sails for going upstream and others had rowers for going downstream. If the ba and ka could not find and recognize the body, the person could not live forever. The body was mummified so that it could be recognized by the ba and ka. The ba and ka lived in the body of the person until death, and then they lived in the tomb with the body. When a pharaoh died he turned into a god.

In order to live forever a person had to be honest. Anubis weighed the heart against the feather of truth to see if the person was honest. If the heart weighed more than the feather of truth it meant that the person was dishonest. If the person was dishonest his or her heart would be eaten by the devourer, a monster that was part alligator, part cheetah, and part lion. The person whose heart was eaten by the devourer would cease to exist and cease ever to have existed. The results were recorded by the ibis-headed god of the scribes, Thoth.