Mummification In Ancient Egypt

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The history and tradition of Egypt, which goes back eight thousand years, is one of the most greatly studied and admired of all past world civilizations. Ancient Egyptians have introduced a variety of useful inventions, structures and customs that are studied today. These varieties include the ancient pyramids, their writing of hieroglyphics, leaders of ancient Egypt known as pharaohs and their involved polytheistic religion. One of the most studied traditions is their burial method of mummification. Mummification is a process that was used by the ancient Egyptians for over two thousand years, into the Roman period, to preserve the dead so that they can enter into the afterlife. They believed that preserving the body was the only way the…show more content…
The other aspect believed by Egyptians that made up the human being along with the "Ba" was the "Ka", the spirit that stayed in the heart. It has been studied that, "the earliest mummies from prehistoric times probably were accidental" ("Encyclopedia Smithsonian: Egyptian Mummies"). Because of Egypt’s dry and sandy climate, the dead bodies buried in shallow pits that were dug into the sand, were dehydrated of the dryness which created natural, unintended mummification. Around 3200BCE, burial chambers were introduced which led to purposeful mummification. At first they used linen bandages and sometimes plaster that was provided during the Old Kingdom by using a mixture of salts known as natron. Once this intentional mummification came into effect, it was mainly done to royalty or wealthy people like pharoahs such as the famous Tutankhamen (King Tut) and Ramses II since poorer people could not afford the process. The wealthy people were placed in tombs or pyramids along with their possessions. According to History Channel's infographic "Mummies Unwrapped," six chariots were entombed with King Tut. Things like gold, foods,…show more content…
It took approximately seventy days for the Egyptians to complete the mummification process. Before the embalming process, the Egyptians took the body to a tent called Ibu, the "Place of Purification." There an embalmer, a person who treats dead bodies with preservatives, washes the body with a palm wine and rinses it with water from the Nile. "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" ("Encyclopedia Smithsonian: Egyptian Mummies"). There also was a chief embalmer which was a priest wearing a mask of Anubis. Anubis is an ancient jackal headed god of the dead associated with mummification and the afterlife. Once the body was cleaned, the embalmer took the body to the Per Nefer, the "House of Mummification," which was located at the tomb of the dead person. There they laid out the body on a wooden table and prepared to remove the brain and organs inside. To remove the brain, the embalmers had to hammer a chisel through the bone of the nose and then a long, iron hook was inserted into the skull to smash the brain and then slowly pulled out through the nose. Once most of the brain was removed, they used a long spoon to
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