Category: What are Mummies?

What are Mummies?

A mummy is the body of a person (or an animal) that has been preserved after death.They were any Egyptian who could afford to pay for the expensive process of preserving their bodies for the afterlife.When a person or animal dies, bacteria on the body causes it to decompose, eventually leaving just the skeleton behind. But sometimes, if the conditions are just right, a body will be mummified instead.

A mummy is any dead body where the fleshy parts have been somehow preserved. Mummies are found all over the world, and have been preserved in a variety of ways. Sometimes they are mummified accidentally by nature, and sometimes they are mummified intentionally by humans. Although there are many different types of human and animal mummies, the one thing they all have in common is that somehow bacteria was prevented from causing the body to rot.Mummies are sometimes created accidentally by nature in bogs. A bog is a marshy wet area that is filled with peat moss. Even though a bog is not cold like the Arctic or the Alps, a dead body thrown into a bog can still be preserved. Bacteria needs oxygen as well as warmth, but the densely-packed peat creates an oxygen deficient environment that prevents bacteria from causing decay.

Bog mummies are pretty nasty to look at– their skin is blackened and leathery and they look all stretched out, as if they were made of rubber. The best bog mummies are found in Europe, especially in Denmark. Scientists believe that these people were killed on land, maybe as a punishment or as a human sacrifice, and then thrown into the bog.

The process involved to create a mummy properly can take up to 70 days. It is not only a physical procedure but the ancient Egyptians also involved their religious beliefs in the right way to create a mummy. There were various steps to mummification:

1} The body must be purified and washed.
2} All internal organs were removed, however, they left the heart in place.
3} They filled in the body with a kind of stuffing so that it would look normal.
4} They had to ‘dry’ the body out, so they placed it in a naturally found substance called ‘natron’. This was almost like salt and it drew out all of the moisture in the body.
5} In about 40-50 days, they removed the body from natron and then replaced the original stuffing with new stuffing made out of sawdust or linen.
6} The body was then carefully wrapped in layers of linen that covered every area of the body. Some special oils were placed on the body to help in the preservation. A final covering was placed on it called a ‘shroud’.



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