Exclusive for the Description of Egypt
- The preservation of the body was an essential part of ancient Egyptian funerary belief and practice. Early mummification involved the wrapping of specific parts of the body such as the face and hands. It has been suggested that the process developed to reproduce the naturally occurring desiccating or drying effects of the hot dry sand on a body buried within it.
- The best literary account of the mummification process is given by Herodotus, ancient Greek historian .He records that the entire process took seventy days. The internal organs, apart from the heart and kidneys were removed via a cut in the left side .The organs were dried and wrapped ad placed in canopic jars or later replaced inside the body.
- The brain was removed of then through the nose and discarded. Bags of natron or salt were packed both inside and outside the body, and left for forty days until all the moisture had been removed from the remaining body tissue. The body was then cleansed with aromatic oils and resins and wrapped with bandages often household linen torn into strips.
- Finally, the mummy would be covered with amulets and wrapped in strips of linen. Linen is a cloth material made from flax which is similar to cotton. Amulets are carved figures that are thought to have magical power .One important an amulet was the scarab beetle which was placed over the heart to protect it.
- After the mummy was complete, it would be placed in a coffin – a box usually made of wood that holds a dead person .Egyptian coffins looked like people, they had faces, shoulders and feet also decorated to look like the person did in real life. The coffin would then be placed along with other important items in a tomb, a special burial chamber.
- Ancient Egyptians had so many troubles to turn the people into mummies and place them in tombs as it was complicated, but it has to do with their religion. The Egyptians believed strongly in an Afterlife that after they died, they continued to live on in a different world.
- The Afterlife was a prefect version of a life along the Nile River with an abundance of water, fruit, tress, animals to hunt and especially crops. If you were rich and did not want to have to farm, you made sure there were plenty of little statutes called ushabtis placed in your tomb.
- An ushabti is a small, carved, mummy like figurine that has a spell placed on it ensuring that it will do any hard work for the entombed person .In addition to ushabtis; many items from everyday life were included in a tomb along with the mummy, the coffin and the four canopic jars.
- The everyday items could include clothing, furniture, cooking equipment and even food .if the mummified person was very wealthy many of these items would be made out of gold and other riches would be included in the tomb as well.
- For example, the famous pharaoh king Tutankhamen’s tomb included not one, but three elaborately decorated coffins, a special shrine to hold the canopic jars, a couch made of gold, a golden throne and numerous pieces of finely crafted jewelry.
By: Enas Salah