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Burial practices in Egypt extended to one's pets and Herodotus has recorded how, in an Egyptian home which has lost a cat, the family would shave their eyebrows and observe a period of mourning on par with the death of a human being.

Cats were mummified as were dogs and other pets (such as baboons, gazelles, birds, fish) and rituals observed at their passing.

(148) For the more 'common’ of the Egyptians, however, a grave in the earth was the usual final resting place.

The deceased would be buried with grave goods and as many shabti dolls as a family could afford to help with chores in the afterlife.

But like the Greeks they pictured the other world as a dark abode of miserable shadows, to which all the dead descended indiscriminately” and that the land of the dead was beneath the earth (128).

It was far more fitting for one's soul to descend to the underworld with other human souls.

In the region of Mesopotamia which came to be known as Babylonia it was believed that the dead “went to a dark and shadowy realm within the bowels of the earth, and none of them saw the light again” (Durant, 240).

If a person was not buried properly they could return as a ghost to haunt the living.

This haunting could take the form familiar from popular ghost stories or films where a disembodied spirit causes problems in the home or, more seriously, as a form of possession in which the spirit entered into the individual through the ear and wreaked havoc on one's personal life and health.

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