Egyptian Mummification-The Art Of Preserving Bodies

In many ancient societies, it was a customary practice to preserve the remains of the dead. Ancient Egyptians engaged in rites that are perhaps most known for keeping corpses undamaged through a process known as mummification. In fact, the process was so effective that even now, more than 3,000 years after the Egyptian's passing, we can still see their mummified body and get a fair idea of what they looked like.

The Egyptians were devoted to the life and held the idea of immortality. They started preparing for their demise early as a result of this. Although that may sound contradictory, the Egyptians understood it to be true because they thought that even after they died, they would still require their physical bodies. Mummification's purpose was to preserve bodies as close to their natural state as possible, which was crucial to the preservation of life.


The mummified body, in the eyes of the Egyptians, contained the person's soul or spirit. The spirit might not leave the body and enter the afterlife if it were to be destroyed. Also, for this reason, tomb preparation was a significant ceremony in Egyptian culture. Long before a person passed away, this process comprised storing things like furniture, clothing, food, and treasures that they could require in the afterlife.

Even though mummification was first used in Egypt circa 2600 B.C., only pharaohs were first allowed to undergo the procedure. Around 2000 B.C., these beliefs began to gradually change as commoners were given admission to the afterlife if their body was mummified and their goods were buried with them.


The Recipe for Mummies-

According to a 2011 study on the materials used in ancient Egyptian mummification, the technique took 70 days. In addition to treating and dressing the body, priests who served as embalmers also performed rites and prayers


The following are the general steps that make up the mummification process: The brain and other inside organs that could decompose are first removed. Aside from the heart, which was thought to be the center of a person's being, all of the abdominal organs were also removed. The next stage was to dry the body completely by covering it with natron, a salty substance that served as both a preservative and a drying agent. The final part of the ritual was wrapping the corpse, which required more than 100 yards of linen that had been covered in gum.

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Even though these were the required steps for mummification, the process could change depending on a person's status and class. For the impoverished, less expensive alternatives were provided because mummification was costly. According to social status, embalmers of the time offered three different mummification techniques, according to the ancient Greek historian Herodotus.


Rich and Elite:

  • With the aid of a misaligned piece of iron, the brain was extracted through the nostrils.

  • The belly's contents were removed, and the inside was cleansed with aromatics and palm wine.

  • Pure myrrh, cassia, and other spices were stuffed into the belly before being reassembled.

Photo credit-www.worldatlas.com

  • Natron was applied to the body for 70 days.

  • The body was cleaned, wrapped in luxurious linen, and coated with gum.


Middle Class:

  • The intestines and internal organs were dissolved by the injection of cedar tree oil into the belly by syringes.

  • The cedar oil was removed from the body and it was left as skin and bones after being covered in a natron treatment for 70 days.

  • The body was given back to the family unwrapped.


Poor class:

  • An oil enema was used to cleanse the stomach.

  • Before being given back to loved ones, the body was treated with natron for 70 days.

The practice of mummification was not only practiced by Egyptians but also by Chinese, Siberians, Italians and many more.


Until next time, stay safe and stay happy!!

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