What is the appeal of the ancient Egyptians, that still calls to us down through the ages? Is it the vivid color and beauty of their art? Or is it the size and grandeur of their tombs and temples? Or is it something else?
The special thing about the Egyptians is the way we can identify with them; the way we see our common humanity through their art forms. Although Egyptian art is rather formal, especially in regard to depictions of gods and royalty, a certain energy and liveliness peeks through here and there. Depictions of family pets, workers in the fields, hunting scenes and even a panel depicting a hair-pulling fight between two little girls appeals to something deep within us, something that says “See, they were not so very different from me!”
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While most of Egyptian art is located in their tombs, the brightly painted frescoes reveal a freshness and vitality not ususaly associated with the dead. While much of their art focuses on the afterlife, this was not because the Ancient Ones were a gloomy, morbid people. To the contrary- the Egyptians enjoyed life so much that they wanted to live forever!
For the “good life” to continue, everything that was present in the current life needed to be transferred to the next life, including the pleasures of a healthy body. The Egyptians believed that the body could be preserved and used again, in a renewed form in the afterlife, along with all their material goods that made their day to day existence so pleasant. This emphasis on the physical body for spiritual rebirth led to a refined and advanced form of medical practice, utilizing both surgical intervention and herbal pharmacology. These common Egyptian plant substances will be our focus here.
Index of Egyptian HerbsLearn More About Herbs and Ancient Egypt
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