What is a Mummy?
Did you know that not all mummies came from Egypt? Some came from China, Peru, Mexico, and Europe. If you thought that was interesting and want to find out more, read on.
A mummy is a preserved body that has been prepared for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians believed that their bodies had to be preserved as they were in life and that the dead lived on in the next world. They also thought that the person would use the body in the next world so they spent much effort into developing methods of embalming.
Archaeologists found the preserved bodies in tombs thousands of years later. Many museums have one or maybe more Egyptian mummies. The most famous mummies are Ramses II and Tutamkhamen (King Tut) who were pharaohs or rulers of Egypt. You might be able to find some mummies in your museums.
The process was simple when mummifying started, and gradually became more elaborate. If you were wealthy back then, you could afford better treatment than if your were poor. Ancient texts say that the whole and complete treatment took seventy days.Embalmers removed the person's brain through their nostrils, using a hook. The way a surgeon does, they removed the internal organs except for the heart and the kidney and they filled the empty abdomen with linen pads or sawdust. The coffins which the mummies were laid in were made of either stone or wood they were shaped like the body, or rectangular. With the mummy inside of it, the coffin would be placed in the tomb with many objects they used in life. The Egyptians believed that the person would need objects they used in every day life with them to go to the next world.
(Click on the definition to go back up)
mummies- an embalmed, dead body
tombs- vaults, graves, other places for a dead body, normally above ground
embalmers- People who prepare/embalm a dead body
coffin- a case in which a dead body is laid in, it may be rectangular or shaped like the body.