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Essay/Term paper: Egypt essay

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Religion

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Throughout the ages religion has been an important part of man"s life. Even today many peoples lives are influenced by the teachings of their religious backgrounds. In ancient Egypt however, religion was the single most important influence on the civilization. It touched virtually every aspect of Egyptian life.
One of the most obvious examples of this is in Egyptian burial. Burial and the preservation of the body was a very important aspect of the culture. It was due to the fact that they believed that the better your body was preserved the happier you were in the afterlife. Even the embalmers had to shave all their body hairs so they would not contaminate the dead person. The person had their major organs removed and preserved in canopic jars, which were watched by the designated gods. Also, the casket the person was buried in always had a likeness of the person on the front. This was for the Ka to recognize when it came back to the body at night. Also, the person was buried with perfume jars and food to take with them to the afterlife. Obviously death, burial and the afterlife, was a major part of Egyptian life that was touched a great deal by religion.
Another major aspect of Egyptian life that was heavily influenced by religion was art. Almost all paintings and other forms of art were either done for the gods or representing the gods or pharaohs. Artists were even considered some of the highest members of society because they did work for the deities. An interesting fact about Egyptian art was the awkward position the bodies were in. All people depicted in the artwork were standing sideways with every body part visible. No one knows for certain why the people were depicted that way, but it is common belief that it was necessary to show all body parts so the gods wouldn"t get angry for being misrepresented. Another interesting observation about Egyptian art is that it stayed, virtually, the same from the Old Kingdom into the New Kingdom. This was because they thought what they did was perfect and to change it would change their perfect life and afterlife. This proves that Egyptian art is another aspect of the culture that was greatly influenced by religion.
Finally the last and most important aspect of the culture that was affected by religion, was everyday life. Everything the Egyptians did was for a god or a pharaoh for one reason or another. Even the worker and slaves knew that the work they did was for a higher power. They believed that when the Nile flooded it was due to a god"s power.
From the previous reasons and many others it becomes apparent the religion touched every aspect of Egyptian culture. And with the decline of religion in or modern society Ancient Egypt will most likely hold the title of the most religious society ever.
 

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