This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Mummification In Ancient Egypt Essay

1477 words - 6 pages

About four and a half thousand years ago, the ancient Egyptians started a tradition that would last for thousands of years. The practice of preserving the bodies of the dead was both ritualistic and spiritual. Their intricate burial procedures and elaborate tombs were also a crucial part of laying the deceased to rest.
The process of mummification began as an accident. Before they buried their dead in proper graves, the Egyptians laid their loved ones to rest in shallow pits in the desert. The sand and heat from the sun dried out the bodies which preserved them perfectly. However, when they started burying their dead in coffins, they realized that the bodies were no longer being preserved. This is when they decided to come up with their own way of preserving or “mummifying” the deceased. (“Mummification”)
According to Herodotus, a fifth century Greek historian, there are 3 levels of mummification. The most elaborate and most expensive treatment was usually only used on the wealthy and elite such as the pharaoh. The second and third levels of mummification were much less detailed and time consuming but were still effective. These treatments were usually used on people of average wealth.
The embalming process started out in a tent known as an “ibu”. “There the embalmers wash [the] body with good-smelling palm wine and rinse it with water from the Nile” (“Mummification”). Once the body was washed, the internal organs were removed through an incision made on the left side of the body. The only thing left in the body was the heart because they believed it was the center of intelligence that the person would need it in the afterlife. (“Mummification”)
Some of the organs, including the stomach, liver, lungs, and intestines, were set aside to be preserved. Early on, the preserved organs would have been placed in jars, known as canopic jars, and placed in the tomb near the body. However, as burial practices changed, the organs would be returned to the body and canopic jars would be placed in the tomb as a symbol to indicate that the organs were still being protected. (“Mummification”)
“The lids of canopic jars represented gods called the 'four sons of Horus'” (“Mummification”). The names of these gods were Imsety, Hapy, Duamutef, and Qebehsenuef. Each one protected a specific organ. “Imsety the human-headed god look[ed] after the liver. Hapy the baboon-headed god look[ed] after the lungs. Duamutef the jackal-headed god look[ed] after the stomach. Qebehsenuef the falcon-headed god look[ed] after the intestines” (“Mummification”).
Next, the body was stuffed with natron to dry it out. Natron is “a mineral salt found in dried lake beds, consisting of hydrated sodium carbonate” (“Natron”). Once it was stuffed, it was left alone for forty days. After forty days, the natron was removed and the body was washed again and covered in oils. (“Mummification”)
At this point, the body would be stuffed with dry materials such as sand, leaves,...

Find Another Essay On Mummification in Ancient Egypt

Daily Life In Ancient Egypt Essay

1039 words - 4 pages Daily Life In Ancient Egypt What comes to mind when you picture the word "Egypt"? Perhaps pharaohs, pyramids, pictures, gods, goddess, decorations, and maybe even freaky looking people. That's not all that was behind this fascinating country, there was much more that went on beyond the bigger picture. Well I'm here to enlighten you about the daily life of the normal everyday Egyptians. Their daily life was much more different than what the

Advanced Technologies in Ancient China and Egypt

684 words - 3 pages crops. Although Ancient Egypt and Ancient China stood in two different places, their technology in mostly industrial, agriculture, and weapons had similarities and differences. The industrial technology in Ancient Egypt and Ancient China has a similarity in paper but there were a more significant number of differences, which are the money system and printing. The biggest similarity in the industrial technology between Ancient Egypt and Ancient

The Role of Women in Ancient Egypt

896 words - 4 pages the average women in this society. Achieving A reversal of this unawareness is done by explaining the role of the average Egyptian woman in the family, the legal rights of women, and the role of women in the temples.In Ancient Egypt the main purpose for women was to marry and to reproduce. 'To marry and beget children may have been the duty of every right-thinking Egyptian, but it was a duty which was very much welcome.' (Tyldesley 1994). There

Technology in Ancient Rome and Egypt

2385 words - 10 pages Technology application of antiquity was so advanced in some areas that only in the last several centuries has modern technology overtaken what existed several millennia ago . The massive building projects of the Giza Plateau and throughout Egypt required heavy lifting and precision surveying technology that did not exist even 100 years ago . The military equipment of ancient Rome, such as artillery machinery, was still state of the art 200 years

Jewelry Today and in Ancient Egypt

1029 words - 4 pages adornments today and in ancient Egypt is that they are losing religious significance. Although I feel that people will always place significance on jewelry the purpose for most jewelry is for aesthetics. Wealth and power is in there as well, but people buy it to look good not to ward off evil spirits. Makeup has also shifted squarely in the secular column instead of medical and religious reasons. Tattoos today are for “expressing one’s self” and

role of women in ancient greece and egypt

2379 words - 10 pages The Role of Women in Ancient Greece and Egypt Throughout history, most societies held women in an inferior status compared to that of men. This was often justified as being the natural result of biological differences between the sexes. In many societies, for example, people believed women to be more emotional and less decisive than men. Women were also viewed to be less intelligent and less creative by nature. However, research shows that

The Role of Religion and Major Deities in Ancient Egypt

693 words - 3 pages Prior to Egypt becoming unified under the rules of pharaohs each community of people in the Nile Valley and along the Nile River developed its own god or gods, many connected or replicating animals. Religion played a central role in the daily lives of ancient Egyptians and inspired the extraordinary temples, pyramids and other associated magnificent structures. The unique spiritual world was complex with the fascination of afterlife and the

Developement of ancient systems of writing in Iraq and Egypt

1618 words - 6 pages Ancient systems of writing in the Middle East arose whenpeople needed a method for remembering important information. Inboth Ancient Iraq and Ancient Egypt each of the stages of writing,from pictograms to ideograms to phonetograms, evolved as a responseto the need to express more complex ideas. Satisfaction of thisneed gave us the two most famous forms of ancient writing,cuneiform from ancient Iraq, and hieroglyphics from ancient Egypt.Both of

Give A Detailed Account Of Mummification In Egypt. What Was It Used For And How Was It Practiced? What Was Its Mythological Significance?

1357 words - 6 pages , essential to a long and prosperous afterlife.Word Count, 1386.Bibliography.http://www2.worldbook.com/features/features.asp?feature=ancient_egypt&page=html/mummies_tuttomb.html&direct=yes - accessed - 27/03/04The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt (Oxford Illustrated Histories) Shaw, Ian. Oxford Press; (July 2002)Medicine and Mummification Rites of the Royal Pharaohs Doubleday; (November 1989)

Similarities in the Artwork of Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, the Aegean cultures, and Ancient Greece

1028 words - 4 pages main differences between the two periods were the sculptures. All in all, the artworks of Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, Aegean cultures, and Ancient Greece have similarities that not only reflect objects and images, but also the media, style and representation, these cultures are vastly exclusive works ranging from triangular depictions of form, to breezy depictions of nature, to sturdy architectural innovations for their citadels. Because of

The tomb of Tutankhamun and the daily life in ancient Egypt

1975 words - 8 pages have something similar but it is made in huge quantities and is made in factories. The ones with a lot of money may buy the example from Gucci but a person with normal income will choose the one from K-Mart. The same was in ancient Egypt. The royals and the common had the same kind of clothes, but the differences are the materials and how they are made.Fashion is what its always have been, it changes and the ones with the money can keep up with

Similar Essays

Animals In Ancient Egypt Essay

1201 words - 5 pages was proven that these cats were in fact still kittens, and were raised to be mummies as their necks were broken and they were still quite young. Mummified cats were considered lucky and could be bought by ancient Egyptians to be placed in tombs of loved ones. Mummification was not limited to cats though; pet cemeteries have been located throughout Egypt. More recently in 2001, in the ancient city of Abydos archaeologists have uncovered

Cats In Ancient Egypt Essay

1869 words - 7 pages glimpse at the importance of Bast and cats.The reasons for cat mummification reinforce the fact that people domesticated cats in Ancient Egypt. One can infer that owners of cats wanted to guarantee the immorality of their darling animal. Egyptians placed a variety of items, such as bowls of milk, rats, and mice, inside the tomb with the cat. Some believe that cats could prove a nutritious source of energy for a human higher up's brilliant journey

Irrigation In Ancient Egypt Essay

1046 words - 5 pages Some of the earliest forms of irrigations were pioneered in the Nile River Delta by the ancient Egyptians over 5000 years ago. These innovations helped fuel social and cultural development by providing abundant resources which allowed the ancient Egyptians focus their efforts toward other innovations such as Art, Mathematics, Shipbuilding, Architecture, and Medicine. Egypt may be a region dominated by desert, but it has one significant source

Life In Ancient Egypt Essay

1921 words - 8 pages Life in Ancient Egypt Life in Ancient Egypt was one that involved an ordered life. The Nile flooded and the sun dried the land on a regular basis every year. People lived their lives in a orderly fashion that has them following set routines from year to year. This routine was greatly integrated with the Egyptian belief in the spiritual world and the religion it soon became. Egyptian religion helped people to see definition in their lives