Embalming

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Pottery, dishes and other items from the embalming cache of Tutankhamen.

Embalming is the act of preserving a dead body, so it will not decompose. Most bodies are embalmed, if they have to be on display or lie in state for a funeral. Embalming is similar to mummification, which is what ancient people in Peru and Egypt did to their dead. Embalming is different from taxidermy, where you only preserve the skin.

History[change | change source]

The Ancient Egyptians believe that once a body is mummified and set, the corpse's spirit may find the body so it may begin its journey to the afterlife. First the Egyptians shoved a hook up the person's nose, jiggled it around a little bit, then let the brain drain out the person's nose. They then cut a small slit in the stomach to reach up and get the lungs, liver, intestines, and stomach out, and placed them in the correct Canopic Jars. When they finished mummifying those, they coated the whole body with natron. They let it sit for 40 days, then put herbs and scents on the body, for each had a special power.

As the embalmers wrapped the mummy in fine linen, they placed amulets in between the layers of cloth for good luck and such. When the body was finished, a death mask was placed on it, and it was set in a series of containers, finishing with a stone coffin.

Many of the pharaoh's things were placed with him, as well as some guards, wives, and pets.

See Also[change | change source]