Many ice mummies didn't set out to be mummified so perfectly.
Take the Franklin Expedition for example: 132 of Britain's top sailors were excited to be a part of the expedition to find the Northwest Passage, a shortcut between Europe and the Orient. The Franklin crew sailed from Greenland in 1845.
“Buried in Ice” by Owen Beattie and John Geiger, describes in detail the search for answers of what happened to the lost expedition. They discovered that after the ships were frozen in ice for two years, the survivors decided to leave their ships and walk out. Weakened by scurvy and the two long, harsh Arctic winters they had endured, they laid frozen where they fell and died. A trail of belongings and bodies told how and why they perished.
Earlier when the men died, they were buried. The perfectly preserved bodies of these men, the tales of Inuits natives, and the belongings of the men found along their death march path, helped unwrap the mystery of their disappearance.
On August 17, 1984, Beattie, Carlson, and their research crew started their first autopsy on John Torrington, one of the first sailors to die. After they defrosted him they started the examination process. Hair on the back of his neck revealed that he had ingested large quantities of lead during the exhibition. Later, they found out that the 8,000 tin cans they took with them were improperly soldered, which meant that the lead could leak into the food. Lead poisoning leads to mental weakness and death. These cans quite probably contributed to some of the crews costly errors in judgment.
Three sailors who died early in the expedition “came alive” to tell their story before they were returned to their graves. Frozen bodies are still occasionally being found but Franklin's body has still to be located.
Siberian Mummies - Straight from the Freezer.
The Egyptians took their
cats, birds and beetles to the grave with them.
A man and his horse
A Siberian man and his horse who were discovered after the Ice Princess (below), have stirred up some anger. After Russian archaeologists found him, they took him to their lab in Moscow for preservation and research. This angered the Altai Republic officials. They accused the Russians of “spiriting away a piece of their national heritage.” Officials have banned any further Russian digging. Since his horse is buried with him, he has been nicknamed the Horseman. This is the description given in “Archaeology Online”:
The Ice Princess
Russian archaeologists found an ancient Pazyryk tomb. Time stood still inside because water had seeped in and froze everything perfectly into one big tomb-cicle.
In 1993 the Ice Princess, also known as "Ledi" for lady, was found near the border of Mongolia in Russia. She is said to be around 2,500 years old! She was buried in a 20 foot underground loghouse. The Pazyrak's believed that when you die you have an afterlife so they buried food water and anything else you would need with you. Apparently wealthy, her headdress was so high, her coffin was 8 feet long. Also found with Ledi, were 6 horses and a 40 year man. The six horses buried with her are believed to be warriors with some relationship to each other and the horses were meant to carry them into battle in their next life.
This fellow sure traveled a lot. His records have survived to tell us about the Egyptian mummification process as well as others. His writings survive about the Scythians and describe in detail how they prepared a king for burial. After they removed his insides and covered him in wax, they paraded him through his kingdom where men were commanded to perform rituals after he passed them__including cutting their hair, cutting off a piece of their ear, poking a hole in their forehead and piercing their left hand with an arrow.
And as if this wasn't bad enough, after he had visited all his subjects, his servants were strangled and buried with him. But the most important part came a year later when 50 of his best horses and 50 of his best attendants were also strangled and placed in his grave. Talk about dedicated followers!