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Why is a scale a good metaphor for understanding Egypt?

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Presentation on theme: "Why is a scale a good metaphor for understanding Egypt?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Why is a scale a good metaphor for understanding Egypt?

2 Scale Metaphor Egypt was one of the world’s longest- lasting civilizations, partly because of the predictability of their environment (Nile) As a result, Egyptians believed it was important to maintain Ma’at, the divinely authorized order or balance in the universe.

3 Ma’at Would you describe Egypt as a static or dynamic society? Egyptians did not want to change society because the feared doing so would upset ma’at, and thus the regularity of the Nile

4 Osiris weighing the heart of the dead

5 Background: When a person died, his heart was weighed to see if he had lived a good life. In this picture, Osiris, the large seated figure, presides over the ceremony as lord of the land of the dead. Before him sits a beast ready to consume the soul of the deceased if a judgment is not made in his favor. The god Thoth stands behind him, depicted as a scribe. Behind him the actual weighing of the heart is taking place, with Anubis steadying the right side of the scale. Horus, an early Egyptian god identified with the falcon, was associated with the sky and the sun, and is shown here steadying the left side of the scale. The heart is weighed against ma’at, a concept signifying some kind of cosmic harmony and ethical order. For Egyptians, living according to ma’at was essential for success in both one's earthly life and the afterlife. The weighing will determine whether or not the deceased lived their life according to the dictates of ma’at. As the heart is weighed the individual would recited the Negative Confession.

6 Assessment Questions Complete the Negative Confession & Instructions to Kagemni worksheet: When completed, respond to these below: –Which values were important in maintaining ma’at? –Is there evidence of a hierarchy in Egyptian society? –Are there any similarities between the values in the Negative Confession with that in Hammurabi’s Code? Differences?

7 Assessment **Option 1: Create a colorful bumper sticker with a catchy slogan, one that captures the essence of Egyptian’s beliefs about the afterlife. Summarize the larger concept of living a morally “righteous” life. Summarize the process of judgment and potential reward after death. Be sure to place strong emphasis on particular words, make it speak a large message in only a few words. In two or three sentences, either on the backside or attached to your sticker, explain what “larger message” your sticker is communicating. Minimum requirements: Size – approx. 6x2 in. Color – at least two colors. **For extra points: Make it life-size (12x4) and entirely colored! Examples (from last chapter, the Neolithic Era): –“Catch the spirit! It’s all around you!” –“The earth mother is my co-pilot.” –“Have you hugged your tree today?”

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