Mummification in Ancient Egypt

Mummification in Ancient Egypt

At Ancient Egypt, as in other cultures, there were specific funeral rites of the area, since they believed in the life after death. The most characteristic rite was the embalming of the deceased, the so-called mummification.

This custom was very expensive, so it was usually only available to the royal family and wealthy families. The process lasted in total about 70 days.

Began a couple of days after death of the person. The body was taken to the embalmers who were in the banks of the river Nile, since they needed plenty of water to carry out the process. These used to wear a mask shaped like the head of a jackal representing the god Anubis.

The process began by placing the body of the deceased on a table that could be made of wood, stone or even alabaster. The table had the shape of a lion. Along with it were other smaller ones with the necessary equipment for work and to deposit the internal organs of the deceased.

First, we proceeded to wash the body. When it was clean, we proceeded to organ removalStarting with the brain, which was extracted with hooks through the nose, and continuing with the stomach, intestines, lungs and liver. Then each of them was wrapped in pieces of linen and placed in four pots named canopic glasses.

Each one represented a divinity, called 'Sons of Horus'. They were Duamutef, shaped like a jackal, where the stomach was inserted; Qebehsenuf, shaped like a hawk, it received the intestines; in the of Hapy, in the shape of a monkey, the lungs were introduced, and finally the glass of Amset, with human appearance, where the liver was inserted.

The heart was the only organ that was left inside the body. According to Egyptian belief, it was the place that housed feelings, conscience and most importantly, life. In case of being stolen, should be replaced by a scarab-heart.

After having removed the organs, they proceeded to cover the body with natron, a salt that dehydrates the body, dehydrating it to prevent its decomposition. It was left like this for a few 35 or 40 days.

After these days, the salt was removed and the body was stuffed with sawdust or silt from the Nile and even spices. Then it was sewn and if the person was important it could be closed with linen, a wax plate and if it was the pharaoh himself, a gold plate could be placed on it.

Once this was done, the body was washed with water from the Nile. Afterwards, it was anointed in scented oils and balms. Finally it was time to bandage the body.

For this they were used linen bandages that were sometimes impregnated in resin. It was carried out by the embalmer through a strict ritual in which they pronounced protection spells for the life of the deceased in the afterlife.

It was done from the extremities to the body, that is, it began bandaging the fingers to follow the extremities and finish for the rest of the body. The arms could be left stretched out or put crossed over the chest. The last part of the body to be bandaged was the head.

To ensure the protection of the deceased, normally amulets and stones were inserted between the bandages, as well as pieces of linen on which texts from the Book of the Dead were inscribed. Once the body was bandaged, it was sometimes covered with a beaded sheet. They were also placed on the chest a winged scarab and the images of the children of Horus.

He covered his face with a painted mask and if he was locked on the pharaoh with a funeral mask of a certain value that could become gold. Finally, the body was introduced into the sarcophagus, which could be several, and was given to the family.

Graduated in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication, since I was little I have been attracted to the world of information and audiovisual production. Passion for informing and being informed of what is happening in every corner of the planet. Likewise, I am pleased to be part of the creation of an audiovisual product that will later entertain or inform people. My interests include cinema, photography, the environment and, above all, history. I consider it essential to know the origin of things to know where we come from and where we are going. Special interest in curiosities, mysteries and anecdotal events in our history.


Video: Mummy Forensics: The Misfits Ancient Egypt Documentary. Timeline