Egyptian Mummification. Essay

1950 words - 8 pages

The Egyptian mummification was a very important religious practice in ancient Egypt. It was considered the most important stage of life. The Egyptians based their lives on death, trying to find about the afterlife and what's beyond death. My objective in this project is to describe how in the twentieth century all this mysteries were revealed by the interests and advances in archeology. I chose this topic because I thought that the Egyptians were a very important civilization through history and many ideas and advances in the further civilizations were taken from the Egyptians. They had many superstitions and religious beliefs as any other culture, and they were very attached to them.Egyptians believed that the body was the link to a spiritual existence in the afterlife. The body was mummified so the spirit could get the food and drink needed in the afterlife. In case the body was destroyed or damaged, magical spells were placed on a statue of the deceased so the spirit could pass to the statue and continue to have their needs met.Mummification was a long and expensive process. A person would need to have a tomb built, gather necessary objects to place in the tomb, and their son or a priest would have to be appointed to bring offering for the diseased on a daily bases. In the Old Kingdom, it was a process reserved primarily for the Pharaoh(1) and his top advisors. In the Middle and New Kingdoms, the Egyptians believed that the afterlife extended to the general population. The expense still limited full procedure to those who were financially well off in the society. For the poor, a shallow grave near the desert was common. The dry, hot climate often caused natural mummification.There were three basic ways to mummify a body. The first method of mummification will be covered in detail on the next paragraph. The second was to inject the body with cedar oil(2) through the rectum and then dry the body with natron(3). The third way, similar to the second, was to inject the body with an unknown liquid and again dry the body.Mummification was mainly for the richest and most powerful in the Egyptian society. The process was long and expensive. There were three main people who took part in this process; the scribe, the cutter, and the embalmer.The scribe's role was to oversee the cutting of the body. The incision was made by the cutter. This procedure was considered unclean, and it limited the cutters position in society. The embalmer was a class of priest which had to remove the internal organs and prepare the body.The mummification would be done in a workshop often near the site of the tomb. The process of mummification would last like two months.The body would be stripped and put on a board. The brain was extracted though the nose. The empty brain cavity would be later filled with resin(4) or a combination of linen(5) and resin. The chest would be cut open and the main organs would be removed with exception of the heart. The organs, after being removed,...

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