Weird History
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Odd And Insane Things Ancient Pharaohs Were Buried With

Updated July 30, 2020 6.7k votes 1.2k voters 75.6k views12 items

List RulesVote up the most bizarre items found in Ancient Egyptian tombs.

We've all heard the fantastic tales of King Tut and the stories of Nefertiti, and how they wound up encased in brilliant tombs filled with treasure only to be uncovered thousands of years later. Their tombs are the stuff of legend, and there are few mysteries greater than those of the pyramids (how were the pyramids built, anyways?), but some of what was found inside these mystical tombs was a bit stranger than one might expect. Golden jewelry? Makes sense. Entire boats? Come again?

This collection of artifacts, some pilfered and some honestly excavated, shine a light on the daily life of Ancient Egyptians, as it shows us what they considered important enough to bring with them into the afterlife. It has to make you wonder what they would think about our comparatively simple processes of cremation and burial, but for now just try to wrap your head around these odd artifacts. Would you want these things with you in the afterlife?

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  • Photo: Maler der Grabkammer der Nefertari / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
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    Elaborate Board Games

    Pharaohs needed to have fun after death - don't we all? - so they stocked up on board games in their tombs. One really popular one was senet, translated as "passing." It was sort of an ancient version of Parcheesi. Folks played them on many-squared boards; if you were rich, the boards might be made out of fancy materials like faience. Fun!

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  • Photo: Peter van der Sluijs / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 1.0
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    Murderous Throwing Sticks

    The ancient Egyptians killed waterfowl with throwing sticks that bore some similarities to Australian boomerangs. The upper-class noblemen often went hunting on the Nile, both to catch food and for fun. As a result, this leisurely activity was often shown on high-ranking mens' tomb walls, so they could do the same fun stuff in the afterlife.

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  • Photo: Jimmy Baikovicius / flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
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    Tons And Tons Of Food

    What better way to start off your life in the afterlife than with a feast? Pharaohs apparently felt the same way, and their tombs were jam-packed full of goodies. The Egyptians basically mummified their meat, drying it out with natron salt and adding some resins. In Tut's tomb, there were also over 100 baskets with barley, figs, grapes, melons, and more tasty treats. He also loved a glass of wine, as evidenced by the many jars of it in his tomb.

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  • Photo: Captmondo / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
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    Jars Full Of Body Parts

    To live on in the afterlife, the deceased had to have their body parts buried with them, but their organs were removed during mummification, so priests stuck four major organs (liver, stomach, lungs, and intestines), dried out with natron, in containers called canopic jars. Each jar was under the auspices of a god, one of the four sons of Horus, each of whom had a protector goddess counterpart.

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