A new exhibit at the University of Manchester is revealing that the ancient practice of Egyptian mummification was never intended to preserve bodies. The exhibit, which is called “Mummies: Life Beyond Death,” features over 100 objects from ancient Egypt, including some of the earliest known mummies. It also includes a reconstruction of a mummification workshop and an explanation of the embalming process. According to the exhibit’s curator, Dr. John Taylor, the goal of mummification was not to create lifelike effigies of the dead, but rather to allow the spirit of the deceased to return to its body so it could continue its journey in the afterlife. This contradicts what many people believe about mummification, which is that it was intended to preserve the body for eternity. However, as Dr. Taylor explains, this was never the case. If you’re interested in learning more about this fascinating topic, be sure to check out the exhibit at the British Museum.
Table of Contents
Why mummification was never intended to preserve bodies
Mummification was never intended to preserve bodies in the way that we think of preservation today. The ancient Egyptians believed that the soul lived on after death and that the body was simply a vessel for the soul to return to the land of the living. As such, they saw no need to preserve the body in its entirety; instead, they focused on preserving specific organs that were essential for the journey to the afterlife.
The process of mummification began with the removal of all internal organs, which were then placed in canopic jars. The body was then covered in natron, a naturally occurring salt that served as a desiccant and left to dry for several weeks. Once it was dried out, the body was wrapped in linen strips and coated with resin.
Far from being an attempt at immortality, mummification was simply a way of ensuring that the soul could make its journey to the afterlife unencumbered. It wasn’t until much later that people began to try and preserve whole bodies, and even then it was more for posterity than anything else.
What is mummification?
Mummification is the process of preserving a body after death. The ancient Egyptians believed that mummification would allow them to live in the afterlife. To mummify a body, the Egyptians would first remove all of the internal organs. They would then stuff the body with natron, which is a type of salt. The body would be wrapped in linen and placed in a tomb.
Mummies have been found all over the world, but they are most commonly associated with Ancient Egypt. Many people believe that Egyptian mummies are the only ones that exist. However, this is not true! Mummies have been found in other cultures as well, including Europe, Asia, and South America.
The Real Purpose of Mummification
The ancient Egyptians believed in an afterlife, and they believed that the physical body was necessary for a person to enter the afterlife. Mummification was a way to preserve the body so that it could be used in the afterlife.
Mummification was a long and expensive process. It took up to 70 days to mummify a body, and it was often done by professional embalmers. The first step of mummification was to remove the internal organs. The brain was removed through the nose with a hook, and the other organs were removed through an incision in the side of the body. The organs were then washed and preserved separately.
The body was then covered in natron, a type of salt, which dried out the body and helped to prevent decomposition. After several weeks, the natron was removed and the body was wrapped in linen strips. The mummy was then placed in a sarcophagus or coffin for burial.
Mummification wasn’t just for royalty or wealthy Egyptians. Commoners could also afford to have their bodies mummified, although their tombs were not as elaborate as those of the elite.
The new exhibit on Egyptian mummification is an excellent way to learn about the history and culture of this fascinating country. It is also a great opportunity to see how new technology can be used to reveal previously hidden aspects of history. I would highly recommend this exhibit to anyone interested in learning more about ancient Egypt or who wants to see how modern science can be used to shed new light on old mysteries.