A survey of mummification in ancient egypt

Mummification In the earliest periods, bodies were not mummified. They were placed in pits in the dry desert sand, sometimes wrapped in linen or covered with reeds. The hot sands dried out the bodies naturally, and this may have been the spark which inspired the Egyptians to experiment with the preservation of their dead. By the Naqada II phase of Predynastic history, resins were used to help preserve the body and to make the corpse smell better.

A survey of mummification in ancient egypt

Print The methods of embalming, or treating the dead body, that the ancient Egyptians used is called mummification. Using special processes, the Egyptians removed all moisture from the body, leaving only a dried form that would not easily decay.

It was important in their religion to preserve the dead body in as life-like a manner as possible. So successful were they that today we can view the mummified body of an Egyptian and have a good idea of what he or she looked like in life, years ago.

Mummification was practiced throughout most of early Egyptian history. The earliest mummies from prehistoric times probably were accidental. By chance, dry sand and air since Egypt has almost no measurable rainfall preserved some bodies buried in shallow pits dug into the sand.

The practice continued and developed for well over 2, years, into the Roman Period ca. Within any one period the quality of the mummification varied, depending on the price paid for it.

The best prepared and preserved mummies are from the Eighteenth through the Twentieth Dynasties of the New Kingdom ca. It is the general process of this period that shall be described here.

Process The mummification process took seventy days. Special priests worked as embalmers, treating and wrapping the body. Beyond knowing the correct rituals and prayers to be performed at various stages, the priests also needed a detailed knowledge of human anatomy.

The first step in the process was the removal of all internal parts that might decay rapidly. The brain was removed by carefully inserting special hooked instruments up through the nostrils in order to pull out bits of brain tissue.

It was a delicate operation, one which could easily disfigure the face. The embalmers then removed the organs of the abdomen and chest through a cut usually made on the left side of the abdomen.

They left only the heart in place, believing it to be the center of a person's being and intelligence.

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The other organs were preserved separately, with the stomach, liver, lungs, and intestines placed in special boxes or jars today called canopic jars. These were buried with the mummy. In later mummies, the organs were treated, wrapped, and replaced within the body. Even so, unused canopic jars continued to be part of the burial ritual.

The embalmers next removed all moisture from the body. This they did by covering the body with natron, a type of salt which has great drying properties, and by placing additional natron packets inside the body. When the body had dried out completely, embalmers removed the internal packets and lightly washed the natron off the body.

The result was a very dried-out but recognizable human form. To make the mummy seem even more life-like, sunken areas of the body were filled out with linen and other materials and false eyes were added. Next the wrapping began. Each mummy needed hundreds of yards of linen.

The priests carefully wound the long strips of linen around the body, sometimes even wrapping each finger and toe separately before wrapping the entire hand or foot. In order to protect the dead from mishap, amulets were placed among the wrappings and prayers and magical words written on some of the linen strips.Ancient Egyptian Art and Culture The Albany Institute’s collection of art and artifacts from ancient Egypt and its two mummies mummification.

BRIEF HISTORY Egypt was a powerful nation, a years before the Minoans of Crete built their palace at Knossos, and about years before the Israelites followed Moses out of Egypt.

A survey of mummification in ancient egypt

Aug 18,  · The ancient Egyptians developed a sophisticated method to preserve a dead body for the afterlife: mummification. First, the internal organs were removed and . Paleoradiology of Egyptian Mummies: A CT Imaging Survey of Cancer in Ancient Remains Jennifer Willoughby1, Kathryn J.

Hunt2, Roselyn A. Campbell3 & Casey Kirkpatrick1 1The University of Western Ontario 2Durham University 3Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA Paleo-oncology: A Definition Presenting a New Method for the .

Mummification The earliest ancient Egyptians buried their dead in small pits in the desert. The heat and dryness of the sand dehydrated the bodies quickly, creating lifelike and natural 'mummies'. Later, the ancient Egyptians began burying their dead in coffins to protect them from wild animals in the desert.

Ancient Egypt: Mummification in Ancient Egypt. How to make an Egyptian Mummy. Mummification. In the earliest periods, bodies were not mummified.

They were placed in pits in the dry desert sand, sometimes wrapped in linen or covered with reeds. The hot sands dried out the bodies naturally, and this may have been the spark which inspired the.

Oct 01,  · The ancient Egyptians did not worship entire species — not even their splendid cats, whose mummies, well represented in the exhibition, sometimes appear .

Ancient Egypt: Mummification