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What Was The Purpose Of Mummification?

923 words - 4 pages

Mummys, they are something that you would see going trick-or-treating on Halloween night. Or a good topic for a scary story at a sleepover. But have you ever wondered what the history is behind them? What was mummifying? How did they mummify people? Why did they mummify people? What was the purpose of mummification? Let’s go back to Ancient Egypt to see what mummification really was.

Imagine walking through the “red land” in Egypt. Desert as far as the can see, surrounded by the hot, dry, humid air. Sand piled higher than the empire state building. As you’re walking, the sun beats down on you. Then you see it. A beautiful temple that looks out of place in this hot lonely desert. Curiosity takes control over you as you find yourself walking toward the glorious sight. You walk through the huge opening. Towering above your head is hieroglyphics, the language of Ancient Egyptians. A tiny passage catches your eye. You walk through cautiously and you see a coffin. Next to the coffin is treasures like, jewelry and gold. Inside that coffin is a mummy.
5,000 years ago, if you walked into a tomb that is what you would see. Mummies contain barely more than bones, hair and skin. The mummies were preserved in the Ancient upper Egypt. In the hot lower Egypt all mummies have perished due to the hot and dry weather conditions. Not everyone was mummified. The way of mummifying changed over the course of time. It depended on the status of the dead. For example, if you were the pharaoh, you would definitely be mummified. But if you were a slave, the chances of being mummified were very slim ("An Overview of Mummification in Ancient Egypt.”, 2013). A complete mummification process were applied to people who could afford the costly treatment. Many members of nobility and upper class could receive the full treatment. Some middle class people were mummified, but there were fewer and less quality mummies among the middle and lower class groups (Infoplease, 2013).

When you think of how mummies were mummified you may think that they were wrapped in toilet paper. Wrong! There was a very specific process that had to be followed in order to be mummified correctly. First the dead body is taken to a tent called “ibu” or the “place of purification”. There, the embalmers clean the body with good smelling palm wine. They then rinse the body with the water from the Nile river. Then one of the embalmer men make a cut on the left side of the body and remove the internal organs. It is extremely important to remove them because they are the first to decompose. The heart is left in the body. It is...

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