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2020 . May . 01

Mummification Facts: Secrets Never Known Reflect Ancient Egyptian Beliefs About The Afterlife

The Mummy‘s known as a famous Hollywood movie, which has wide popularity around the world, taking you into the Underworld of mummies, as they come back to life and chase the main character and his company.

These mummy movies are categorized as imaginary movies. However, it still has some roots of truth, which leads us to wonder about the ancient Egyptian mummification definition, facts, process, and steps of embalming.

mummification egypt

What Is Mummification?

To fully understand the mummification definition, we should be aware first about what is a mummy?

A mummy is a dead person or animal which had kept his skin and organs preserved without decomposing. And it could be due to natural causes or by Mummification. This process was common in several civilizations around the world, but the most known is Egyptian Mummification.

Mummification Definition

Now that you knew what a mummy is, time to know the definition of Mummification; it is a special process to preserve the dead body to prevent it from decaying easily by removing the moisture from the body.

egyptian mummification

How Did Mummification Reflect Egyptian Beliefs About The Afterlife and What Was The Purpose?

Egyptian Pharaohs were taking care of getting the right way of burial. Not only by building a magnificent tomb but also by preserving their bodies in an excellent condition, as they believed in the afterlife and that the soul would return to the body again to have eternal life; that's why the Egyptians used the mummification process on their dead. So the body should be ready to receive the soul another time by not being corrupted.

Egyptian Mummification Process & Steps, Mummification Tools

After the death of someone, the mummification process takes place to preserve the body before burial.

  • 1. First, priests who performed the Mummification by mummifying the body remove the brain by a hook through the nostrils with the aid of some drugs put to liquefy the brain.

  • 2. Then, using an Ethiopian stone blade, they cut the left side of the tummy and move the intestines out and purify it with some wine and seasoning.

  • 3. Remove the liver, stomach, intestines, and lungs were embalmed separately and placed in four jars called the Canopic Jars.

  • 4. The whole body should be covered with Natron, a type of salt, to dehydrate the body for 70 days, no longer.

  • 5. Then, the mummified body should be washed from Natron and be wrapped by linen bandages. It could take hundreds of feet to wrap only one pharaoh's body.

  • 6. The body is ready to be buried after being placed into the sarcophagus to the final destination into the tomb.

  • 7. During all this process, priests' prayers and rituals should be taking place under the protection of Anubis, who was the god of Mummification, and the tomb should get ready to receive the Mummy by having all the essential material that the pharaoh could use in the afterlife.

All this process was to prepare the body and preserve it to receive the soul again in the afterlife, to be in good shape and uncorrupted.

egyptian mummification process

When Did The Mummification Start?

Early Egyptian mummies dated from the old kingdom that the oldest Egyptian Mummy was from the 3rd dynasty.

The Myth of Osiris and the origins of Mummification

As we understood earlier, the ancient Egyptians started mummifying the deceased as they believed in the afterlife, but where did the idea of the afterlife come from? Let me tell you the story behind it.

Once upon a time, there was a ruler of Egypt named Osiris, he was married to his sister Isis, but his brother Seth grew envious of his brother's power.

Seth murdered his brother Osiris, took his coffin, then threw his body into the Nile, scattering his body into several pieces. Isis, with the help of her sister Nephthys, reassembled Osiris's body with their magical powers.

Osiris was brought back to life, but his body was missing a part, so he couldn't rule again on the earth. He then descended to the Underworld and became the Lord of the Dead.

The myth of Osiris is what made the ancient Egyptians believe in the afterlife. He was depicted as a mummified ruler.

the egyptian god of mummification

The Egyptian God of Mummification

You might think that Osiris is the God of Mummification as he was the Lord of the Dead, but he actually wasn't.

Anubis was the Lord of the Dead before Osiris overshadowed him; it was believed that Anubis was the one who invented the embalmment process, and the corpse of Osiris was the first one he tried it on. Then Anubis became the God of Mummification instead of the Lord of the Dead.

An ancient tradition that was sacred by the Egyptian people for a long time that had left us some mummies telling stories about the early life in Egypt and how the pharaohs of Egypt believed in the afterlife.

They had gone further than just mummifying humans; Egyptians were mummifying also some of their sacred animals, like cats, bulls, crocodiles, and falcons, that you can find a whole cemetery of bulls at Saqqara necropolis called Serapuem.

Egyptians were leaving many monuments to be remembered, but that wasn't enough for them, so they decided to save themselves in good shape to let us know them as they were in old times.


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