Life After Death for the One Whose Heart Is Light

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Built in the 27th century BC for the burial of Pharaoh Djoser by his vizier; architect and later known as the God of Medicine, Imhotep. Pyramids were built for religious purposes and the Egyptian civilization were one of the first to believe in an afterlife. In order to reach the afterlife, it was important to have the body prepared through mummification which was a process that preserved the body by removing organs and wrapping the body in linen. The heart would remain with the body as it was believed that in the afterlife the heart would be weighed against an ostrich feather to see if they had led a righteous life. There were several key gods depicted in the art of the afterlife.

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Each god having a key role in the Ancient Egyptians beliefs of the journey to the afterlife. The process of mummification led to the Egyptians developing an understanding anatomy and in many other aspects influenced modern day society. It has also sparked the curiosity of many people from different cultures all over the world and while much of the Ancient Egyptian culture is still buried in the sands of the dessert, we cannot help but wonder, is there life after death?

Built in 1842 for the resting place of the family of the Dukes of Hamilton, the Hamilton Mausoleum inspired by the 10th Duke of Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton, love of the classical world. Commissioning the architect David Hamilton to design and build a Roman-styled domed structure of panelled masonry in the grounds of the now demolished Hamilton Palace. The grand structure stands proud in the grounds with massive bronze doors leading to the main Chapel area with Italian marble flooring and an impressive echo. At the time the mausoleum was considered to be one of the finest tombs in Scotland as one journalist wrote,

While other Hamilton ancestors were laid to rest in the crypt of the mausoleum, Alexanders obsession led to him arranging for the Ancient Egyptian expert of the time, Thomas Pettigrew, to have his body mummified and embalmed. He had an Egyptian sarcophagus brought to Scotland from Thebes, which had been made for an ancient Egyptian queen. It was said that he would often lay in the sarcophagus to see if he would fit and since personalised for a Queen, Alexander once mummified did not fit. His legs were broken in order for him to fit the length of the sarcophagus which overthrows the mummification process. He was then laid to rest in the grand marble chapel of the mausoleum. Alexander Hamilton stole a sarcophagus and when faced with the weighting of his heart would he have lived a righteous life? 

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