The process of mummification, the form of embalming practiced by
the ancient Egyptians, changed over time from the
(ca. 2750-2250 B.C.), when it was available only to kings, to
the New Kingdom (ca. 1539-1070 B.C.), when it was available to
everyone. The level of mummification depended on what one could
afford. The most fully developed form involved four basic steps:
1. All of the internal organs, except the heart, were removed.
Since the organs were the first parts of the body to decompose
but were necessary in the afterlife, they were mummified and put
in canopic jars that were placed in the tomb at the time of
The heart was believed to be the seat of intelligence
and emotion and was, therefore, left in the body. The brain, on
the other hand, was regarded as having no significant value and,
beginning in the New Kingdom, was removed through the nose and
2. The body was packed and covered with natron, a salty drying
agent, and left to dry out for forty to fifty days. By this time
all the body's liquid had been absorbed and only the hair, skin,
and bones were left.
3. The body cavity was stuffed with resin, sawdust, or linen and
shaped to restore the deceased's form and features.
4. The body was then tightly wrapped in many layers of linen
with numerous good luck charms, or amulets, wrapped between the
layers. The most important amulet was the scarab beetle, which
was placed over the heart. Jewellery was also placed among the
bandages. At each stage of wrapping, a priest recited spells and
prayers. This whole procedure could take as long as fifteen
days. After the wrapping was complete, the body was put into a
shroud. The entire mummification process took about seventy
Syrian newspaper, " Secret of
free mummy Revealed
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