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Egyptian Mummification Process

The step-by-step process of mummification.
by

Maya Motyka

on 14 March 2011

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Transcript of Egyptian Mummification Process

Egyptian
Mummification
Process By: Maya Motyka Have you ever thought of
how the ancient Egyptians
mummified bodies? Mummification Process 1) Announcement of Death 2) Embalming the Body 3) Removal of Brain 4) Removal of Internal Organs 5) Drying out process 6) Wrapping of the body 7) Final Procession Announcement of Death Even before they start mummifying the body they have to announce that someone died. Usually a messenger gets sent out onto the streets and has to announce the death. This allowed people to get themselves ready for the period of mourning and the ceremony. Embalming the Body Once the messenger announced the horrific news they moved onto step number two. Embalming the body. The embalmers were located in special tents or buildings. The main embalmer always wore the mask of Anubis, god of mummification. That protected the embalmers from making any mistakes. Those buildings were called the embalming workshops; teams of priests maintained them. The priests usually would step away outside to get away from the horrible smell, during the embalming. http://iw-chameleon.bravepages.com/5emba.htm Embalming. Removal of Brain The first step to embalming a corpse is removing their brain. The Egyptians thought the brain was a waste of space because they did not know the purpose of it. To extract the brain, a hook gets inserted through the nose. Then the embalmers pulled out as much as they could. All the contents they collected get put into some water to dissolve. What they did with the remains after, no one is sure. Some people think the water was then thrown out, but other thought it was taken with the mummy to the burial chamber. Removing the Brain Removal of the Internal Organs Once the brain got removed, the internal organs were next. Those organs were the liver, the lungs, the stomach, and the intestine. To do that, they need to cut a small slit on the left side of the abdomen. Then the embalmers reached in and pulled out the organs. Except for the heart, because the Egyptians believed that the heart, rather than the brain, was considered the seat of thoughts and emotions. That was where all the knowledge was. Each of the organs was separately mummified, then stored in little coffins called, canopic jars. In total, there were 4 canopic jars, one for each organ. The 4 sons of Horus protected those jars. Imset protected the liver. He had the head of a human. Once the internal organs were removed, the inside of the corpse got washed out with palm oil, lotions, and preserving fluids. After the body was stuffed with linen, straw, or other packaging material to keep the ordinary shape of the person. Occasionally the embalmers were careless and either stuffed too much or too little. Because of that, sometimes the mummy looked puffy or disfigured. Duamutef looked after the stomach. He had the head of a jackal. Ha'py watched over the lungs. He had the head of a baboon. Qebehsenuef looked over the intestines. He had the head of a falcon. http://www.themysticcorner.com/Egyptian_Art.asp Imset's canopic jar. http://www.themysticcorner.com/dbDisplayImage.asp?productid=5532&currpage=Egyptian_Art.asp Duamutef's
Canoic jar http://www.themysticcorner.com/dbDisplayImage.asp?productid=5533&currpage=Egyptian_Art.asp Ha'py's Canopic jar. http://www.egyptiandreams.co.uk/product_info.php?products_id=1094 Qebehsenuef canopic
jar. Drying Out Process The body gets placed on a slab and covered with either some nacron or nacron salt, which absorbs all of the liquids in the body. The slab gets tilted so that the water would run off into the basin. This method removed the moisture and prevented rotting. The body then gets taken outside for it to dry for 40 days. The cavities were then sewn back together. Once the corpse was completely dried out, the wrapping of the corpse would begin. http://ayamnael7elwa.net/vb/t7263.html Wrapping of the Body Before the actual wrapping began, the body got anointed with oils, incense, scents, spices, herbs, and resins. Wrapping the body was a difficult process. The corpse gets anointed with oils, and a gold piece with the Eye of Horus gets placed over the slit in the abdomen. They used 100s of yards of linen just to wrap the body. Each toe and finger was wrapped separately. Charms, amulets, and inscribed pieces of papyrus got placed in between each layer of bandage. The Egyptians have always believed that these charms had incredible magic that would protect and give luck to the body its on. The Eye of Horus was often used, for it is the symbol of protection. Every once in a while the wrapping process would be stopped so that the priest could say certain prayers and write on the linen. To keep all the wrappings together they put a final shroud on the mummy. Mummia was added to the shroud to keep it all together. Just for the look they sometimes inserted fake eyes or make-up. Then, so the dead person's soul (Ka) could recognize its owner they put a painted portrait mask over the mummy's head. In the end the mummy got placed unto a beautifully painted and decorated coffin. Wrapping the Body. Final Procession he last step of mummification was the final procession. This was where the family and friends of the body walked through the town on their way to the burial area. Sometimes mourners were paid to cry so that the gods of the underworld could see that the people were well loved. The more people who cried, the more the person was loved, which gave him/her a better chance of going to the after life. Before the mummy got taken to the tomb, a ceremony called "Opening of the Mouth" took place. Opening of the Mouth Priests who were outside the burial chamber usually performed the Opening of the Mouth. These preparations were one of the most important. The family of the mummy recited spells while the priests used special instruments to touch parts of the mummies face. Egyptians believed that the mummy would not be able to eat, see, hear, or even move in the afterlife if this particular ceremony did not happen. The mummy then got taken into their burial chamber along with all of its belongings, the canopic jars, and the Book of the Dead. The Book of the Dead was not actually a real book; instead it was a collection of over 200 different magic spells written on papyrus. This particular book contained instructions on how to achieve eternal life. Once everything was inside, the tomb got sealed. Weighing of the Heart Most important task to get immortality wasn’t actually seen by anyone. That task was called "The Weighing of the Heart." Egyptians believed the most powerful part of a person was his/her heart. The heart was never removed from the corpse. It was considered the center of a person's being. In this ceremony, the gods of the underworld judge the mummy's heart, or how well he behaved during his life. Maat, the goddess of truth, brings out her scale, on one side was the mummy's heart, and on the other was the Feather of Truth. Osiris, the god of the underworld, made the final judgment, and Thoth, the scribe god, recorded it all. If the heart balanced the feather, the soul of the mummy was immortality. If the heart was heavier than the feather, the soul got doomed to a terrible fate. Unfortunately the heart would be thrown to a monster called Ammit, or Devourer of the Dead. http://gwydir.demon.co.uk/jo/egypt/anubis.htm Well, Now you know how to mummify a body! DO NOT TRY IT! Works Cited 1) Unknown. Egyptian Mummification [Online] Available http://www.king-tut.org.uk/egyptian-mummies/egyptian-mummification.htm, Saturday, March 12, 2011 2) Unknown. Mummification Process. [Online] Available http://www.angelfire.com/wi/egypt/
mummy2.html Saturday, March 12, 2011 Thank you for watching! The End.
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