Unwrap the Mystery of Mummies
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11-01-2011, 11:56 AM

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We will take a trip in time and unwrap the mystery of mummies! We will see how the mummification process takes place.
The Ancient Egyptians get most of the credit for mummification, but we will discover the first people to actually practice the process.
we will uncover the facts of mummies and the reasoning behind mummification.


What defines a mummy,
How the process of mummification takes place,
Who were the first people to practice mummification,
Who made the mummified process famous,

Other methods of mummification and,

Where mummies are being uncovered in present times.

What are mummies?

While the Egyptian ones are the most famous, mummies have been found in many places throughout the world.

How Mummies are made:

The process of making mummies is more complicated than you may think.
There is careful planning and specific steps that must be followed.

Chinchorro Mummies:

Chinchorro Mummies may well have been the first people in the world to practice mummification.
They preserved their dead beginning about 5000 B.C., reaching a peak in 3000 B.C.

Egyptian Mummies:

Egyptians probably began to mummify the dead intentionally.
They used methods of embalming, or treating the dead body.
It was important in their religion to preserve the dead body in as life-like a manner as possible.

The Egyptian mummification process

From the Middle Kingdom onwards, embalmers to used salts remove moisture from the body. The salt-like substance natron dried out and preserved more flesh than bone. Once dried, mummies were ritualistically anointed with oils and perfumes. The emptied body was then covered in natron, to speed up the process of dehydration and prevent decomposition. Natron dries the body up faster than desert sand, preserving the body better. Often finger and toe protectors were placed over the mummy‘s fingers and toes to prevent breakage. They were wrapped with strips of white linen that protected the body from being damaged. After that, they were wrapped in a sheet of canvas to further protect them. Many sacred charms and amulets were placed in and around the mummy and the wrappings. This was meant to protect the mummy from harm and to give good luck to the Ka of the mummy. Once preserved, they were laid to rest in a sarcophagus inside a tomb, where it was believed that the mummy would rest eternally. The mummy's mouth would later be opened in a ritual designed to symbolize breathing, giving rise to legends about revivified mummies.In some cases, a mummy has been discovered in an unmolested tomb, only to be found in a state of advanced decomposition due to the proximity of the water table. This was the case with the discovery in 1998 of the mummy of Iufaan , an Egyptian priest and administer who lived around 500 BC.

Incan Mummies:
There are methods to preserve the dead other than the traditional wrapping that the Egyptians used.
The Incans used a method that is very unique.
Can you figure out why they are known as the “Ice Mummies.”

Incan mummies were preserved by freezing the bodies.

GREAT! We have successfully journeyed back in time to uncover the mystery of mummies.
We learned how the Egyptians made the mummification process popular.
We discovered that the Chinchorro mummies actually date back before the Egyptians.
We have learned that there are other methods to preserve the dead other than the traditional wrapping that the Egyptians used.
We also discovered that mummies are being uncovered during present time.


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