Religion of the Pharaohs, Study Guide

Middle Kingdom Funerary practices

Reminder of dates:


Important names, terms, and concepts (terms are from readings or class last time)

Thebes (map and significance)

Abydos (map and significance)

Osiris in the MK

Coffin texts

shabti figures

canopic jars


mummification practices 

Execration texts -- from last time


Discussion Questions

Mieroop, and many other Egyptologists, have analyzed funerary texts and practices from the Middle Kingdom and have argued that they point to a "democratization" of life in this period, and particularly with views about the afterlife. This is seen as a shift from the classical Old Kingdom views. What examples from Mieroop, Teeter, the Coffin Texts, and the handout (harpers' hymns) can you find to support this view?








Some scholars characterize the "Man Who Was Weary with Life" as a text about suicide. Do you agree or not, and why? What do you think the text is trying to say about death and the afterlife? Do you think the view(s) expressed in the text is/are typically "Egyptian"?








The readings in Mieroop and the two stelae in Simpson are about funerary practices and the cult of Osiris in Abydos. Why was Abydos important to Middle Kingdom Egyptians? Why was Osiris important?

The Neferhotep Stela describes a ritual or festival. What happens?

What does the Stela of Iykhernofret tell us about Osiris worship -- what did Iykhernofret do









You are welcome to bring any other questions/discussion topics to class as well.