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The Mummification Process of Ancient Egypt

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Presentation on theme: "The Mummification Process of Ancient Egypt"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Mummification Process of Ancient Egypt

2 Daily Life in Ancient Egypt
~ Ankh ~ Ancient Egyptian symbol for “Life”.

3 Eye of Horus Symbol of protection.
The “Eye of Horus” also represented the eternal renewal of the kingdom from pharaoh to pharaoh.

4 The ancient Egyptians believed . . .
Just as the sun descended to its “death” each night, a person’s spirit descended down to the underworld (Duat) when they died. To the Egyptians, the underworld was not a “bad” place but simply where your spirit continued to exist, if your life had been worthy.

5 Two Types of “Spirit” Actually, the ancient Egyptians believed there were two spirit forces: The Ka was the “life force” or energy that every living thing possessed. Ka left your body when you died, but it could be sustained on its own through food and drink. That is why the deceased were buried with things a person might need as they continued in their afterlife. Symbol for Ka

6 The game of “Senet” Ancient Egyptians were buried with food & drink, weapons, furniture – even games!

7 The Ba was something like the soul of the person and was usually symbolized by a bird with the head of a human. The Ba made it possible for the deceased to leave his tomb and rejoin the Ka after his or her death.

8 Egyptians believed that the most powerful part of a person was his or her heart. The heart was never removed from the body - it was considered the center of being.

9 Osiris Thoth Horus Anubis Ammut Ancient Egyptians also believed that when you died, your spirits joined and appeared before a panel of fourteen judges who considered the actions of your life. Anubis, an important god of the underworld, then weighed your heart against the feather of Ma’at, the goddess of truth and justice. If the heart was heavier than the feather, then the deceased had a heart that was made heavy by evil deeds. Ammut, the crocodile-lion-hippopotamus god, would devour the heart and the deceased would be denied an afterlife. However, if the heart was not heavy, then the god, Horus, would lead the deceased to join Osiris (god of eternity) forever. The god, Thoth, recorded the outcome.

10 In order to have a body in the afterlife, the earthly body of the deceased was preserved through the process of mummification. Mummy of Ramses II

11 Steps for Mummification
1. Announcement of Death Embalming the Body Removal of Brain Removal of Internal Organs Drying Out Process Wrapping of the Body Final Procession

12 Announcement of Death The first step in the mummification process was to let people know of the death. A messenger was sent out to the streets to announce that the person had died. This allowed people to prepare themselves for a period of mourning and religious ceremony.

13 STEP 2: Embalming the Body
The second step was taking the body to the embalming workshop maintained by a team of specialized priests.



16 Materials Used in Mummification
1. Linen (cloth) 6. Natron (sodium bicarbonate & salt) 2. Sawdust 7. Onion (used in place of some removed organs) 3. Lichen (moss; used for stuffing) 8. Nile mud 4. Beeswax 9. Linen pads 5. Resin (bitumen) 10. Frankincense

17 STEP 3: Removal of the Brain
The first part of the body to be removed was the brain. Egyptians did not know the purpose of the brain and didn’t think it was important. To extract the brain, a hook was inserted through the nose. The embalmers pulled out as much as they could then put the brain in water to dissolve. Some historians think the water was then thrown out, but others think it was taken with the mummy to the burial chamber.

18 Extraction of the Brain

19 STEP 4: Removal of Internal Organs
Next to be removed were the internal organs: the liver, the lungs, the stomach, and the intestines. A small slit was made on the left side of the abdomen, then the organs were removed . Each of the organs was individually mummified and stored in little coffins called canopic jars. There were four canopic jars , one for each of the organs. These jars were believed to be protected by the four sons of the god, Horus.

20 Imset protected the liver. He had the head of a human.
Duamutef looked after the stomach. He had the head of a jackal. Ha'py watched over the lungs. He had the head of a baboon. Qebehsenuef guarded the intestines. He had the head of a falcon.

21 STEP 4 continued: Removal of Internal Organs
Internal organs were removed to keep the mummy dry and to prevent decay as much as possible. Once the internal organs were removed, the inside of the body was washed out with palm oil, lotions, and preserving fluids. Next the body was stuffed with linen, straw, or other material to keep the general shape of the deceased person.

22 STEP 5: Drying Out Process
It was important to remove all moisture. The body was covered with natron (similar to baking soda and salt) which was found naturally in the dry desert. The body stayed packed in natron and taken outside for at least forty days in order to complete the drying process.

23 Embalmer’s Tools: “Brain Hooks” Oil Jar Funnel Embalmer’s Knife 1 2 4

24 STEP 6: Wrapping of the Body
Hundreds of yards of linen cloth were used to wrap the body. Occasionally, the priests stopped the wrapping process to say prayers. A final shroud was placed on the mummy to keep all the wrappings together. Mummia (resin) was then added to the shroud to help preserve the mummy . (That's how we get the word “mummy” and it is one reason why mummies are dark in color .)



27 STEP 6 continued: Wrapping of the Body
Amulets or charms and inscribed pieces of papyrus were also placed between each layer of bandage as the preserved body was wrapped. Egyptians believed that these charms had magical properties that would protect the body.

28 Scarab (beetle) = Symbol of renewal

29 Wrapping the Body One priest wore a mask of the god, Anubis, during the mummification process. Anubis was the god of mummification and had the head of a jackal. It was his job to protect the dead on their journey to the afterlife.

30 STEP 6 continued: Wrapping of the Body
The preserved body was then placed in a wooden coffin. The wealthier the family of the deceased, the more elaborately decorated the coffin. Very wealthy people were often buried in coffins within larger coffins.

31 STEP 6 continued: Wrapping of the Body
Coffins were decorated to look like the deceased person. A painted portrait mask was placed over the mummy's head. These final decorations helped the dead person's spirit (Ka) recognize its owner.

32 STEP 7: The Final Procession
The last step of mummification was the final procession where the family and friends of the deceased walked through the town on their way to the burial place. Mourners were even paid to cry so that the gods of the other world would see that the person was well -loved. The more people cried, the more it would seem that the deceased was loved and the better chance he or she had of going to the after world.

33 STEP 7 continued: The Final Procession
Before the mummy was taken inside the tomb, a ceremony called “Opening of the Mouth ” took place. The family recited spells while priests used special instruments to touch different parts of the mummy's face. The Egyptians believed that, through the ceremony, the dead would be able to eat, breathe, see, and hear in the afterlife.

34 STEP 7 continued: The Final Procession
The mummy was then laid in the burial chamber along with his belongings, the canopic jars, and the Book of the Dead. The Book of the Dead was not actually a book but a collection of over 200 prayers and spells written on papyrus. This book contained instructions on how to achieve eternal life. Sometimes the tomb itself was decorated with the prayers.

35 The tomb was then sealed.

36 Was everyone mummified in ancient Egypt?
No, only the pharaoh, his family, and other wealthy and important nobles and officials. However, within the tombs of the ancient dignitaries, archaeologists have found mummified animals!

37 Thousands of mummies have been found over the years.
Common people were buried in the hot, dry sand which also served to preserve some bodies. Thousands of mummies have been found over the years.

38 Of course, pharaohs were mummified and buried with the most elaborate preparation and ceremony of all.

39 Sarcophagus

40 Shabtis: The Pharaoh’s Servants in the Afterlife
Pharaohs were buried with small statues that the ancient Egyptians believed would come to life and serve the pharaoh in the afterworld.

41 The end. Or is it the beginning . . . ?
Mummy of Pharaoh, Seti I

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