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Fourth Dynasty Lady - Egypt

This fragment of the statue of a high-born lady illustrates one of the most curious of the funerary practices of the ancient Egyptians.

In order to guard against the possible corruption of the mummy and the consequential extinction of the soul, they caused exact likenesses to the deceased to be made, and then by magic ceremonies "brought thm to life". In this way the "ka" or double of the dead was furnished with a duplicate body, by residing in which it could enjoy the funerary offerings and also have its existence perpetuated indefinitely in the land of the shades.

From Wonders of the Past