Mummies and the After Life
Exploring the tombs
When a pharaoh died in ancient Egypt, the priority was to make sure they got to the afterlife succesfully. For this to be acomplished, the pharaoh had to have everything they needed for the afterlife with them. All of these things were put in the tomb. Tombs usually had around 15 rooms. One of these rooms was used to store the mummy. The rest of the rooms were used to keep all the things the pharaoh would need for the afterlife.
These things included Shabtis. Shabtis were small figures carved from stone or wood. They were shaped as people, and were put in the pharaoh's tomb because it was believed that in the afterlife, the shabtis would come to life and would become the pharaoh's servants. There would be around 50 - 60 shabtis in a pharaoh's tomb. Another thing that would be found in a pharaoh's tomb would be gold. Mountains of gold would be piled up in the tomb so the pharaoh would enjoy himself in the afterlife.
The walls and roof of the tomb were covered in pictures of the pharaoh doing things in the afterlife. Such as meeting the gods, having a succesful weighing of the heart and servants worshipping him. Also on the walls of the tomb were spells of good luck for the pharaoh.
How did Mummification start?
The Ancient Egyptians originally threw the bodies in pits of sand; they later became a bit smarter and put the bodies in coffins, however this made them decay. This is how they came across mummification. Mummification was a solution to the problem of decaying. The dead person could not go to the afterlife if they did not have a body, therefore mummification was the perfect thing, it preserved the body so when the person got to the afterlife they would have a body that was in reasonably good condition.
The embalming process
The embalming process is a process of mummification. This process had to take exactly seventy days. Mummification was a process of preserving a dead body, so it could survive the journey to the afterlife. In order to preserve the body, it needed to be as dry as possible. The organs in the body are very moist so they were removed. In between the removal of organs, the body was washed, dryed, left to sit and covered in special remedies. The first organ to be removed was the brain. Long hooks made of bronze were pushed up through the nostrils and then whisked around inside the skull until the brain was a soupy liquid that could be drained out through the nostrils. The brain was not considered as an important organ in Ancient Egyptian times. The people believed that the heart was where you thought, felt, and everything else the brain does was controlled by the heart. Because of this, in the mummification process, the brain was thrown away. Join Kha the embalmer and play The Mummy Maker Game.
In the embalming process, the organs were taken out of the body but were needed for the afterlife. The organs were placed in canopic jars and the jars were put in the tomb with the mummy. Each organ had it's own guardian, represented by the figure on top of each jar. The guardian of the liver was represented by a human called Imset, the guardian of theintestines was represented by a falcon called Kebechsenef, the guardian of the stomach was represented by a jackal called Duamutef, and the guardian of the lungs was represented by a baboon called Hapi. Not all the internal organs were put in canopic jars. The heart was left in the body as they believed it was the most vital organ in the body and the brain was considered worthless, so it was thrown away.
Imset Kebechsenef Duamutef Hapi
liver intestines stomach lungs
human falcon jackal baboon
Canopic- jars that the organs were stored in.
Embalming- to treat a dead body so as to protect it from decaying.
Goddess- a female god. No. 2 A woman adored for her beauty or charm.
Linen- a fabric woven from the fibers of flax.
Mummy- 1. Lifeless flesh. No.2 a body of a human being or other animal embalmed or treated for burial.
Mummify-to make a mummy of a body by embalming, drying, etc. , or to dry up; shrivel.
Mummy case- A case fitted closely to a swathed mummy or having the face modeled and the body covered with realistic emblems.
Mummy cloth- A fabric used to wrap mummies, a heavy unbleached linen or cotton fabric in plain weave used as a foundation for embroidery.
Mummy pot- a vase used by ancient egyptians for keeping the mummies of small animals.
Mummy powder-a concoction formerly used as medicament or drug containing a powdered part of a human or animal body.
Mummy wheat- wheat that was found in mummy cases, that's how it got it's name.
Natron-salt like crystals sprinkled on the mummy to help the mummy dry out.