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Egyptian Civilization and the Nile
The Nile and Afterlife Beliefs
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The importance of the Nile in daily life is reflected in the Ancient Egyptians' afterlife beliefs. Egyptians usually buried their dead on the West bank of the River Nile because they believed that the underworld was located in the west where the sun died each day.

Tombs were decorated with scenes depicting hunting and fishing with the family along the Nile, which the deceased hoped to enjoy in the afterlife. Miniature boats were placed in tombs to transport the soul in the afterlife.

The Amduat was a text often included in the tomb that describes the journey of the sun god on his boat through the 12 hours of the night, from its setting in the evening to its rising in the morning.

In between, it presents the actions and speeches of the sun god and describes those who dwell in the underworld and their tasks. The Book of the Dead describes what the deceased will find in the underworld and how they should behave.

During the final judgment, they must make the so-called "Negative Confession" in which they must answer negatively to every question asked by the gods. Respect for the Nile is included in this confession, as the deceased should deny polluting the water by claiming "I have not waded in the water."

The deceased should also deny preventing the water from irrigating the land when it was needed by stating "I have not stopped (the flow of) water in the seasons" and "I have not built a dam against flowing water."

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