Beliefs about the afterlife have informed how people allocate scarce resources and how they think about choices. From the grave goods taken to the underworld to the bargains for material advantage in this life at the expense of salvation in the next, the afterlife has helped people imbue their economic relations with meaning.

Abundance and Scarcity

The art of ancient Egypt and Etruria, the home of the Etruscans of central Italy, told the believer what happened in the afterworld. The evidence from Egypt continues to fascinate humans. In 1922, the British archaeologist Howard Carter discovered the tomb of the forgotten pharaoh Tutankhamun. Although only a minor pharaoh, Tutankhamun had a tomb that excited worldwide attention. The diversity and number of grave goods were astonishing. The Egyptians clearly ...

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