Table of Contents
Characteristics of and terminology relating to the dead
Constituent elements of the dead
Iconography: distinguishing the dead from the living
The malevolent dead
Chapter 2: the cult of the ancestors
Mortuary cult and society
Evidence for mortuary cult
Chapter 3: places of interaction with the dead
Shrines and chapels
Chapter 4: times of interaction between the living and the dead: funerals, festivals, and banquets
Festivals and Banquets
Chapter 5: attitudes to the dead
Commemoration of ancestors and the maintenance of cults: ideals and realities
Tomb robbery, the desecration of human remains, damnatio memoriae, and fear of the deceased: conflict between the living and the dead
Placing the dead within the landscape
Reuse of tombs, cemeteries and funerary equipment: prioritising the living over the dead?
Tomb graffiti: form and function
The death and burial of children: an example of attitudes to those on the fringes of society
Chapter 6 Conclusions: living with the dead in Ancient Egypt
Reviews & Quotes
""Harrington... investigates the mortuary cult and veneration of ancestors, with the associated rituals, statues, ancestor busts and stelae, before discussing when and where such interactions with the dead took place, and attitudes to the dead (including the impacts of tomb robbery, desecration, tomb reuse and the death and burial of children), backed up with many black-and-white and colour illustrations and a comprehensive bibliography.""
Ancient Egypt Magazine (Volume 14 No. 3, December 2013/January 2014)
"4.0 out of 5 stars An absorbing exploration of the relationships between ancient Egyptians and their dead, 30 Sep 2014
This review is from: Living with the Dead (Studies in Funerary Archaeolog) (Paperback)
Nicola Harrington here gives an overview of the evidence for the religious practices and beliefs regarding death and the dead, focusing on the period from the Old to the New Kingdoms, using textual, iconographical and archaeological sources to analyse the interaction between the living and the dead.
Beginning with the essential characteristics of the dead as distinct from the living, Harrington then investigates the mortuary cult and veneration of ancestors, with the associated rituals, statues, ancestor busts and stelae, before discussing when and where such interactions with the dead took place, and attitudes to the dead (including the impacts of tomb robbery, desecration, tomb reuse and the death and burial of children), backed up with many black-and-white and colour illustrations and a comprehensive bibliography.
She concludes that the relationship between the living and the dead in New Kingdom Egypt was a complex one based on reciprocity, but where fear and a need to appease the malevolent dead may also have played an important role.
The act of preparing for burial and arranging a mortuary cult may have been sufficient to secure a place in the afterlife.
Ancient Egypt Magazine (Volume 14 No. 3, December)
"A highlight of this nifty little book is its guide to identifying the deceased in a scene on an Ancient Egyptian tomb wall (pointers include their being shown as larger than other people, and the epithet maa-kheru, ‘true of voice’.). Harrington’s neat dissection of Egyptian words for aspects of the soul, and funerary magic, is also handy. Attitudes towards the dead were not always so reverent, however, as a chapter on ancient tomb desecration reveals. Likewise, the dead themselves were not always benign – those who died violently or abroad, and thus lacked proper funerary rites, became mwt: malevolent dead, blamed for miscarriages, disease, and crop failure. Crammed with interesting details, this is a great read."
World Archaeology (Issue 60)