Previously published in Examiner
Man made Mummification Process why do it?
Let us shift our concentration now to the man made mummification process and how it is done
Mummification is a process of embalming. Simply put whether this was a man made process in ancient times or today’s embalming, it is a means of preserving a body. Modern day morticians embalm bodies to make them presentable for public viewing at a funeral and the ancient Egyptians embalmed their mummies especially the Pharaohs to prepare them for the afterlife. The ancient Egyptians believed that the Pharaoh’s would become Osiris King of the Underworld. See more about that topic in my article entitled The Great Pyramids of the World.
Therefore mummification was a concern, for the health of the body after death to be prepared for the after world.
How was a body mummified?
The ancient Egyptians were very particular about preparing the body for the afterlife. The whole process of embalming took 70 days. This was particularly executed for high-ranking officials and priests who were also buried with their masters, the mighty Pharaohs and their households. These high-ranking nobles had rather lavish funerals, not afforded the common man or woman in ancient Egypt. Workshops for the embalming process were set up near the intended tomb site.
Steps for the embalming process
The first step was to wash and purify the body.
The internal organs of the body were then taken out of the body by making an incision in the side of the body where the intestines, liver, lungs, stomach were taken out.
These organs were treated with a chemical called natron, which was a mixture of sodium carbonate (a natural occurring soda ash) and 17 percent of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), household salt, and sodium sulfate to dry out the organs and protect them from disease and bacteria.
The organs were then wrapped up in a linen cloth and put in canopic jars made from wood and pottery. The covers of the jars each had the symbolic head of the sons of Horus who were said to be the caretakers for the particular organ encased in it.
Qebehsenuef, the falcon head — intestines
Duamutef, the jackal head — stomach
Hapy, the baboon head — lungs
Imsety, the human head – liver
To be continued
To study Egyptology in Montreal
The Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities