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Ancient Egyptian Funerary Practice: Soul House

Ancient Egypt elites provisioned their tombs with models of servants preparing food and other necessities. These servants magically provided sustenance to the deceased. Poorer burials had a soul house, a crude model house that provisioned the deceased and housed the ka should the burial be destroyed.

The soul house below has a walled courtyard with models of foodstuffs including cuts of meat and conical and round loaves of bread. This provisioning was particularly important for the poor, as they could not rely on real offerings for them after their burial. There is also space for storing water and grinding grain.

Pottery model of a simple dwelling with a courtyard full of food. About 1850 BC. British Museum. EA 32610. Image by L M Clancy 2009/09/13.