The Afterlife

Almost parallel to the building of the pyramids, in the Old Kingdom, a special form of visual representation was created which has been a key to our understanding of all of Egyptian art. Sculpture and grave ritual lie in close relation to each other. The statues in the tomb chambers and temples of the dead were idealised portraits of the dead. It was believed that due to his embodiment the deceased would participate further in the earthly life and also live on in the afterlife. Egyptian statues were to substitutes for the decayed body, the residence for the soul of the deceased. Religious instructions demanded that in spite of all stylistic similarities the person portrayed clearly had to be clearly identified. To this end the name and title of the high-ranking person was chiselled into the base on the throne of the statue.





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