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The 7 Steps of Mummification
Published on Jun 16, 2016
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THE 7 STEPS OF ANCIENT EGYPTIAN MUMMIFICATION
STEP 1: ANNOUNCEMENT OF DEATH
A messenger was told to inform the public of the death.
Family made arrangements to mourn, for body preparation, and ceremony.
This was important because Egyptians believed the soul left the body at death.
For eternal life, the body and soul had to be united after burial.
STEP 2: EMBALMING THE BODY
Embalmimg began in a special tent called 'ibu'.
The body was first cleansed with palm wine.
Water from the Nile River was used to rinse the body.
This step was done to purify the body.
STEP 3: REMOVAL OF THE BRAIN
Egyptian embalmers removed the brain first.
Because the function of the brain was not understood, it was considered garbage.
A long hook was thrust into the nose and the brains were pulled out.
The brain was placed in water to dissolve.
STEP 4: INTERNAL ORGANS REMOVED
Embalmers took out the internal organs through a left-side cut in the stomach.
The liver, stomach, intestines, and lungs were taken out and mummified.
Each organ was stored in a small coffin called a Canopic Jar.
Lotions, palm oil,and preserving fluids were used to wash the body's insides.
The body was packed with straw and linen to keep the person's form.
THE CANOPIC JARS
The tops of the jars represented the Four Sons of Horus.
Hapi watched over the lungs and had the head of a baboon.
Duamutef looked after the stomach and was depicted with a jackal head.
Qebehsenuef protected the intestines and had the head of a falcon.
Imset guarded the liver and was shown with a human head.
STEP 5: DRYING THE BODY OUT
The body was placed on a tilted slab and covered with natron salt.
Natron absorbed water from the body which was collected in a bowl.
Rotting of the body was prevented by removing moisture.
For forty days the body was laid outside to dry.
STEP 6: WRAPPING THE BODY
The Eye of Horus was positioned over the abdomen slit and the body blessed.
Hundreds of yards of linen were used; fingers and toes wrapped individually.
Charms and papyrus were arranged inside the layers to protect the body.
Priests wrote on the linen layers and recited ritual prayers.
All wrappings were held together by a binding shroud.
STEP 6: WRAPPING THE BODY CONTINUED
Mummia, or a type of glue, was finally applied to hold it all together.
Cosmetics and artificial eyes were used on the mummy's face.
A portrait mask covered the mummy's head.
This allowed the dead person's soul to recognize its body.
The body was finally placed in a decorated coffin.
STEP 7: FINAL PROCESSION
Friends and family walked through town crying on their way to the tomb.
The more mourners the greater the dead's chance at entering the after world.
Before being placed in the tomb, the "Opening of the Mouth" ceremony occurred.
The family recited spells and the priest touched different parts of the mummy' face.
This ceremony allowed the mummy to eat, see, hear, and move in the afterlife.
STEP 7: FINAL PROCESSION CONTINUED
The Book of the Dead, Canopic jars, and belongings were placed in the burial chamber.
The book of the dead contained 200 spells and instructions for reaching eternal life.
"Weighing of the Heart" occurred after the tomb was sealed and witnessed by no one.
The heart was the most powerful part of the person and center of the person's being.
The heart was never removed from the body because it was used to judge one's life.
FINAL PROCESSION CONTINUED
Gods of the underworld judged the heart on how well one behaved in life.
Goddess of truth, Matt, weighed the heart against the "Feather of Truth".
Anubis, god of the underworld, made all final judgements.
If the heart balanced the feather, eternal life was granted.
If not, the soul was doomed and the heart was fed to the monster Ammit.