The Funeral Procession of the Royal Scribe Ani


 
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The Egyptians believed that the human soul used the first night after death to travel into the afterlife. However, the body, which the Egyptians believed was an essential element to the afterlife had to be mummified to preserve it for eternity. The mummification process took 72 days to perform properly. This was the time to put finishing touches on the tomb and to pack all the deceased's worldly possessions, which surely would be needed in the afterlife.

The Funeral procession of the Royal Scribe Ani.



In this picture we see servants or hired hands carrying Ani's home furnishings, Servants are dragging a chest on which Anubis is sitting, inside the chest is more of Ani's worldly possessions or perhaps his canopic jars. All of these objects will be placed in the tomb for his use in the afterlife. In front of them are eight male mourners dressed in white. Ani's mummy rides on a funerary boat which is being drawn by oxen. Very hard to see in this picture are the goddesses Isis and Nephthys who are usually shown in this scene protecting the dead. Ani's wife mourns at his side. The man wearing a leopard skin and turned back towards Ani's mummy is a priest, he is burning incense.




There are men carrying more of Ani's belongings. The group of women in clothed in blue are a party of paid, professional mourners who wail and pat dirt on their heads. This was an Egyptian show of mourning. The cow and calf are food offerings that will be used for the funeral feast.

Ani's mummy stands before the entrance of his tomb, in the protective embrace of Anubis. His wife mourns at his feet. Behind her are offerings and three priests. One reads from a papyrus, while the other two are about to perform an important ceremony called the "opening of the mouth and eyes." This ceremony was thought to restore the mummy's ability to see, breathe, eat and drink.
 

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