Ancient Egyptian Forum Forum Index Ancient Egyptian Forum

 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 


What happened to Pharaoh's servants after his death?

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Ancient Egyptian Forum Forum Index -> Mummies
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Erasmus
Tomb Robber


Joined: 20 Oct 2006
Posts: 2
Location: Arizona

PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 6:15 am    Post subject: What happened to Pharaoh's servants after his death? Reply with quote

Sorry to be a bother. I have been searching in utter vain for anything discussing the fate of a Pharaoh's servants in the vent of the death of Pharaoh. I'm trying to help my 11 year old daughter for a school project.

I was always under the belief that they were killed and entombed with the pharaoh. Of course, this knowledge is questionable as I beleive the source was more than likely, Hollywood.

My 6th grade daughter is pretty distraught in that she can find no reference to the fate of the servants on the internet. I have tried myself for several hours with equally empty results. This forum seems to be full of folks that may know the answer to this probably all too trivial question.

If so, could you please point me in the right direction?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Google
Sponsor





PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 6:15 am    Post subject: Advertisement

Back to top
Daughter_Of_SETI
Egyptian Architect


Joined: 15 May 2006
Posts: 109

PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is thought that in pre-dynastic times and early dynastic times, servants to a pharaoh may have been killed when the pharaoh died, in order to continue to serve him in the afterlife. This is in no way certain though, because these particular discoveries containing the likely bodies of servants are all skeletons and don't seem to have died from injuries so, it could be that they chose to take their own lives to be with their master.
Early in ancient Egyptian history, the afterlife was only reserved for royalty or people of exteme wealth that could afford a magnificent burial including mummfication, spells and prayers etc, so commiting suicide to be interred beside the king would've been the only forseeable way for servants to make it into the afterllife, which means that it was highly possible that this was considered a respectable way to die.
However, if it is correct that these servants were killed in order to continue their service into the afterlife (probably by forced ingestion of poison), it was a practise that didn't last very long. Instead of servants being interred with a pharaoh upon his death, he was burried with Shabti's, which were believed to magically come alive in the afterlife when the pharaoh called for them to do work for him.
This is just a guess, but I would imagine that in the New Kingdom, servants belonging to a pharaoh, would on his death be likely to have been passed on to the next pharaoh (usually his son) to use how he wished.
_________________
-Indeed, I am alive today; tomorrow is in god's hands-


Scribes_Of_Thoth forum
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Neb-Ma'at-Re
Pharaoh


Joined: 09 Dec 2003
Posts: 690

PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Erasmus,

I think I can answer your question.

In the early dynasties of Old Kingdom, there were a few cases where the servants of the Pharaoh were entombed with their king. This practice of human sacrifice was later replaced by having small statuettes called ushabtis (or shabtis) included in the tombs. The purpose of the ushabtis were to do the work for the deceased in the afterlife. They were inscribed with magical text listing the tasks that were to be performed. Some tombs have been found with hundreds of ushabtis.

As for the real servants, most often they went on to become servants of the new Pharaoh. Some boasts to have served under a number of Pharaohs in their liftime. In fact the various tasks and titles held by servants and nobles were usually family trades and were carried on for generations.

Hop this helps.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Daughter_Of_SETI
Egyptian Architect


Joined: 15 May 2006
Posts: 109

PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's some information on Shabti's: Wikipedia Link, and here's a pictuure of a Shabti: Shabti.
I'm not certain where the particular graves are located that have servants buried with pharaohs, though.... Maybe someone else will have a better idea....
_________________
-Indeed, I am alive today; tomorrow is in god's hands-


Scribes_Of_Thoth forum
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Daughter_Of_SETI
Egyptian Architect


Joined: 15 May 2006
Posts: 109

PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL, I guess you didn't really need the links on the purposes of the Shabti, Erasmus, Very Happy as Neb-Ma'at-Re just explained them perfectly! Wink
_________________
-Indeed, I am alive today; tomorrow is in god's hands-


Scribes_Of_Thoth forum
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Erasmus
Tomb Robber


Joined: 20 Oct 2006
Posts: 2
Location: Arizona

PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You confirmed all I was able to discover myself, with regard to Shabti and even wall paintings or carvings to be used as servants in the afterlife. But, that was all I was able to find out. It makes sense that servants would be passed down as property to the new pharaoh. Thanks for all your help!

Very Happy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tnrees
Prince/Princess


Joined: 09 Jul 2005
Posts: 497
Location: Taunton, UK

PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2006 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is possible that the people buried near the king died of natural causes.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Neb-Ma'at-Re
Pharaoh


Joined: 09 Dec 2003
Posts: 690

PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2006 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tnrees,
It would be an honor for any egyptian to be buried near a dead king (ie. in the vacinity of a mortuary complex/tomb). Although I can't speak specifically for Erasmus, but I think he/she is refering to servants that were buried with their king in the mortuary complexess or tomb itself.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tnrees
Prince/Princess


Joined: 09 Jul 2005
Posts: 497
Location: Taunton, UK

PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2006 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes the tomb of Harwa I have just posted about was in the causway of Mentuhotep (much earlier but the 25th Dynasty was interested in past glories)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Ancient Egyptian Forum Forum Index -> Mummies All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group

Anti Bot Question MOD - phpBB MOD against Spam Bots
Blocked registrations / posts: 10373 / 0