The Ancient Egyptians' religion had a great impact on the development of their society and culture. The entire civilization of Ancient Egypt was based on religion, and their beliefs were important to them. The Ancient Egyptians' religion was similar to modern time religion. Nowadays, not everyone believes in the same God. Ancient Egypt was no different. Different kings worshipped different gods, as did the workers, priests, merchants and peasants.
Ancient Egyptians believed in a "greater being." The beliefs were expressed in pictures of the gods. The gods lived, died, hunted, went into battle, gave birth, ate, drank, and had human emotions. The gods' reigns overlapped, and, in some instances, merged. They also reflected the Ancient Egyptians culture. The reigning king determined which god had dominance. Their area of dominance depended on where the king wanted his capital.
The myths and names of the gods also changed with their location. Names in ancient Egypt were very mystic and powerful. People believed using a name could be beneficial or detrimental. If you knew a name you had power. Each god had five names, and each was connected to an element, such as air, fire, earth, water or with celestial bodies. Sometimes the names were a descriptive statement about the god, such as strong, virile or majestic.
Every event in the Ancient Egyptians' lives dealt with relationships between natural and supernatural forces. The Egyptians thought that natural events were caused by the gods. Some examples of these are: the annual flooding of the Nile River; the enormous size and desolateness of the surrounding desert and the daily cycle of the sun's rising and setting. Today people believe natural events happen because they have been scientifically proven. The ancient Egyptians, on the other hand, believed the gods accomplished these phenomena. They believed the earth was a flat platter of clay floating on a sea of water from which the Nile River sprung.
They believed this because they had no scientific knowledge. This basic description of the world came from their belief that the gods were responsible for the forces of nature. The Egyptian culture spanned over at least 3000 years. This could explain why there were so many gods and goddesses.
The gods and beliefs gradually changed over time as a result of new ideas, contact with other peoples, and changing cultural values. Another impact that religion had on the ancient Egyptian culture was their belief in the rebirth after death. This became their driving force behind their funeral practices. The ancient Egyptians didn't believe that death was the end of life but in fact that it was a temporary interruption. They believed that after death there was another life, an afterlife. When an Egyptian died they had to be prepared for the next life.
The body was preserved by mummification if you could afford it. For the less wealthy people, the body was preserved by tar, sand. Everything required for the continuation of the life after death was packed in the tomb along with the body. Writing materials were often supplied along with clothing, wigs, hairdressing supplies and assorted tools, depending on the occupation of the deceased.
As you can see from the above the Ancient Egyptians' religion had a great impact on the development of their society and culture.