Jochem Kahl (SFB 980 „Episteme in Bewegung“, FU Berlin)

Crossing Boundaries – Posthumous Existence in Ancient Egypt


In ancient Egypt, several aspects of human life and afterlife existed and formed a complex composite. Ba, Ka, and Akh are probably the most well known thereof, but also shadow, name, heart, and image are to be mentioned. In addition, the efforts of preserving and conservating the body should not be forgotten. According to ancient Egyptian beliefs, the successful interplay of all these components led to an eternal second life, whilst the malfunction of one of them to the ultimate second death. One of these aspects, the Ba has often been compared with „soul“ since antiquity. Therefore, in this presentation, particular attention will be paid to the relation between Ba and body.

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