The origin of the mummy and the evolution of mummy preservation

The Ancient Egyptians believed that when a person died they made a journey to the next world.

Egyptian mummification process

Finally, rouge and other paints were applied. The Chinchorro mummified their dead for about 2, years. The body was then tied in a squatting position and dried in the open air. This is particularly common in the desert areas of the Tarim Basin and Iran. The tomb of Tjay designated TT23 , is one of only two known which show the wrapping of a mummy Riggs But now we know it was deliberately preserved. They often added wood supports along the spinal column, arms and legs, filled in the body cavity with fiber or feathers, and coated the exterior of the body with clay on which they painted or sculpted. A very sophisticated fishing tribe called the Chinchoros, who lived on the north coast of what is now Chile, were embalming their dead as early as BC. The body was an important part of the afterlife and they wanted to preserve it forever.

Also known as Princess Ukok, the mummy was dressed in finely detailed clothing and wore an elaborate headdress and jewelry. Fun Facts about Egyptian Mummies Over the past few thousands of years, many of the Egyptian mummies have been destroyed in interesting ways.

famous egyptian mummies

Although regarded as primitive in the absence of farming, pottery, textiles and literacy, their complex mummification techniques actually reveal a highly sophisticated culture.

Even less fortunate were those mummies exported to the US for use in the papermaking industry or even, as Mark Twain reported, to be burnt as railroad fuel.

how were mummies made

They would also take out some of the organs. A further 8 frozen bodies of women and children in seal-skin clothing were found at Qilakitsoq in Greenland, although these 'Greenland Mummies' are only years old. Uncovered alongside fragmented animal bone tools was the mummified body of an infant, wrapped in animal skin and wearing a necklace made of ostrich egg shell beads.

How to make a mummy

The Egyptians went through an elaborate process to preserve the body and keep it from decaying. All deceased people within the Guanche culture were mummified during this time, though the level of care taken with embalming and burial varied depending on individual social status. The body was then tied in a squatting position and dried in the open air. Even less fortunate were those mummies exported to the US for use in the papermaking industry or even, as Mark Twain reported, to be burnt as railroad fuel. The development of x-rays now makes it possible to x-ray mummies without destroying the elaborate outer wrappings. 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. The mummy was placed in his coffin, or coffins, in the burial chamber and the entrance sealed up. This would have provided more access to drinking water. Discoveries of mummified remains have also been located in New Zealand , and the Torres Strait , [90] though these mummies have been historically harder to examine and classify.

Each mummy needed hundreds of yards of linen. She was erroneously identified as an early medieval Danish queen, and for that reason was placed in a royal sarcophagus at the Saint Nicolai Church, Vejlewhere she currently remains.

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Mummies in Ancient Egypt and the Process of Mummification