The Relationship Between the Testamentary Disposition and the Belief in the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt
Keywords:provisions made prior to death, belief in the afterlife, sustenance of the deceased, testamentary dispositions, pious foundations, imyt-pr, testate law in ancient Egypt, succession law in ancient Egypt
This study discusses the importance of the belief in the afterlife, sustenance after death, family structure and literature from ancient Egypt and submits that the first signs of the testamentary disposition can be deduced. The belief in the afterlife necessitated sustenance of the deceased by the immediate family complemented by provisions made by the deceased prior to death, effectively laying the foundation of the testamentary disposition in ancient Egypt. One must, however, be careful about conclusions of definite testate and intestate succession law from our sources as these are later terminology. It does, however, appear that the first signs of succession law, in particular the testamentary disposition, is present very early in ancient Egypt.