The Embalming Ritual
The Book of The Dead : "Hail, Father Osiris! I shall possess my body forever; I shall not be corrupted; I shall not disintegrate, nor will I fall prey to worms. I exist. I am alive. I am strong. I have awoken and am at peace. There is no destruction in my organs, or in my eyes; my head has not been removed from my neck... My body is permanent; it will not perish; it will not be destroyed in this eternal land."
The removal of organs
|Two or three days after a person has died, the body was delivered to the embalmers who immediately began extracting the organs from the body. An incision was made below the left ribs to remove the liver, stomach, intestines and finally the lungs. However, the heart was regarded as the seat of consciousness and feeling and was therefore generally left in place.These organs that have been removed were wrapped in cloth and put into canopic jars where they were impregnated and covered in a thick layer of balm. The kidneys, spleen, bladder and female reproductive organs did not receive any special treatment on the whole. Next was the removal of the brain. Using a broze rod which was inserted into the left nostril, the embalmer smashed the ethmoid bone (located at the root of the nose and separating it from the cranium) and removed the brain through the opening. Molten resin was then injected into the skull, and the resin solidified on contact with the skull.||
|Move the cursor over the spots to see the instruments used.|
The cleansing of the body
The body was sewn up again, cleaned and then covered in natron (sodium carbonate and sodium chloride) in order to dehydrate it. This operation required less than seventy days, after which the body was washed with Nile water and various unguents were applied to make the body smooth and sweet-smelling. Finally, it was laid on a funeral bed, which took the shape of a lion, before being dressed.
The bandaging process
This process was governed by a strict ritual specified in sacred books. At each step, the officiating priest recited ritual formulas drawn from the texts.
The process began with the fingers, which were bandaged individually. Then came the limbs, which wre also bandaged separately before being wrapped in large shrouds held in place by broader strips of cloth. The arms either rested alongside the body or were crossed over the chest inwhat is usually called the "Osiris" pose. The head came last. The cloth was sometimes daubed with resin, and amulets were placed between the layers.