In our literacy class, we were learning about ancient Egyptian. So besides their amazing structure of the pyramid, there is a belief of afterlife for the wealthy people such Noble and Pharaoh, mummy. Mummification is a step for the god of death, Osiris, to judge on the person soul whether or not they are going to the afterlife which was believed to be much likely to the life on earth and that the soul would like to use the old body. Therefore, while learning about the process of mummifying, we actually assigned to perform the steps of mummifying.
Here are the steps of mummifying.
- Removal of the Brain: With long hooks, the brain is extracted through the nasal passage. The Egyptians didn’t think that the brain had any special use.
- Organ Removal (Evisceration): A cut is made on the left side of the body, and the liver, lungs, and other organs are removed, dried out, and stored in sacred vessels called canopic jars. The heart is left in the body, because it will be needed to be weighed in judgment by Osiris.
- Dehydration with Natron Crystals: Now the body must be dehydrated (have the liquids removed) to stop decay. A type of salt called natron is used. Natron crystals are packed around the body. The crystals absorb body fat and fluids and keep the body from decaying.9 After being treated for about 40 days, the corpse10 is washed and dried.
- Stuffing: Because the body has lost much of its mass, resin11-stained clothes or bits of sawdust are used to pack the corpse, which by now has also lost its eyeballs. Pieces of cloth are stuffed in the eye sockets and painted black. At this point, the corpse’s lips and cheeks are painted.
- Oiling the Body: This elaborate12 process includes massaging, perfuming, and anointing (blessing with oil) the corpse.
- Coloring: After the nose and mouth are filled with cloth scraps to restore the shape of the face, the body is colored. Men are colored red; women are colored yellow. After the coloring, resin is poured into body cavities.13
- Arrangement of the Body: Depending on which period of Egyptian history the deceased lived in, the arms are either placed to the side of the corpse, folded on its chest, or placed with hands on shoulders.
- Wrapping: The body is wrapped in several layers of fine linen; and various body parts receive particular attention. This process takes two weeks, after which a resin is added to the bandages.
- Funerary Mask: A mask, sometimes made entirely of gold, is fitted to the mummy’s body. Symbols of gods often adorned14 masks.
- Burial of Waste: All materials used to prepare the corpse (such as natron and bloody linen) are placed in a jar and buried away from the mummy’s tomb.
Pictures coming soon…