Ancient Egypt Mummies | Definition, History, & Facts

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In ancient Egypt, the afterlife played a significant role in culture. Making every effort to keep the body alive as long as feasible was one of their preparations for the afterlife. They accomplished this using an embalming technique. Mummies are the name for these embalmed corpses.

How were the Mummies Embalmed?

To preserve the body and prevent it from decomposing, the Egyptians underwent a complex procedure. We won’t go into too much detail about the horrific circumstances because it’s kind of filthy. The main thing they attempted to do was extract all of the body’s water and fluids. Water is largely responsible for the degradation.

The Egyptians first covered the body with natron, a salty crystal material. Natron would aid in drier the body. Furthermore, part of the organs would be removed. They would cover the body and pack it with natron, then leave it to dry out for around 40 days. After the skin had dried, they would use creams to protect it before stuffing the empty body for support and wrapping the body in linen. They would wrap the entire body in numerous layers of linen strips. The layers of the wrap were adhered together with resin. It may take up to 40 days to complete the process.

After the body had been completely wrapped, it was put in a sarcophagus, a stone coffin, and covered in a cloth called a shroud.

Why were the dead bodies so important to them?

According to Egyptian religion, a person’s “ba” or soul needed a body in order to reunite with their “ka” in the afterlife. They were interested in preserving the body for all time since it was crucial to the afterlife.

Did everybody receive this fancy embalming?

The best embalming was only accessible to the exceedingly wealthy. However, because everyone valued it, they purchased the best available, and the majority of the deceased were turned into mummies. Over the course of the 3,000-year-old ancient civilization, Egypt is thought to have produced 70 million mummies.

Famous Mummies

Some of the ancient Pharaohs’ mummies are still lying around. Rameses the Great and Tutankhamun were both preserved, and both can be shown in museums.

Interesting Mummy Facts about Egypt

Many of the Egyptian mummies have been destroyed in unique ways throughout the previous few thousand years. Some were destroyed by treasure seekers, while others were used as fuel or powdered ingredients in magical concoctions.

Because it was believed to be the seat of intelligence, the heart was kept inside the body. It was decided that the brain was useless and it was thrown away.

The mummy’s mouth would occasionally open to represent respiration in the afterlife. This practice is possibly what gave rise to the myth that mummies may return to life.

By combining CAT scan and X-ray equipment, scientists may study mummies without having to remove their wrappings.