Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

Participants in these ceremonies were first and foremost the family, but also friends, and the banquets were intended to celebrate with the deceased and served as a form of solace for the bereaved. Other deceased family members were included in the celebration and rituals. The drinking of alcohol and the use of narcotic substances might have facilitated the communication with the ancestors. Remains of these banquets are hardly detectable, mostly because in early excavations the courtyards of tombs were cleared without documenting the finds. In a few cases in more recent excavations, artifact assemblages related to mortuary and presumably ancestor cult and feasting have been found.

“Feasts for the Dead and Ancestor Veneration in Egyptian Tradition”, Miriam Muller, in In Remembrance of Me: Feasting with the Dead in the Ancient Middle East, edited by Virginia Rimmer Herrmann and J. David Schloen

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