Ba (soul) In Egyptian mythology, the soul, or that part of a person that had eternal existence after death, represented as a human-headed bird. The ba was closely associated with the ka, a person’s double, and the ib, or heart, and constituted one of the principles of a person’s life.
After death the ba was believed to visit its body in the tomb. In the pyramids of Meroë openings were left in the stone covering the apex so that the ba might enter, and a ledge was placed beneath each opening for the ba to stand on.
A small figure of the ba made of gold and inlaid with some precious stones was placed on the breast of the mummy in the hope of preserving it from decay, because the ancient Egyptians believed there was to be a final union of all souls with their bodies.
Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow – Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante