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The Mummification Process

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Presentation on theme: "The Mummification Process"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Mummification Process


3 The first mummies were just dried out in the desert
The first mummies were just dried out in the desert. The ancient Egyptians buried their dead in small pits in the desert. The heat and dryness of the sand dehydrated the bodies quickly, creating lifelike and natural 'mummies'.

4 . Later, the ancient Egyptians began burying their dead in coffins to protect them from wild animals in the desert.

5 Steps 1. Announcement of Death 2. Embalming the Body 3
Steps 1. Announcement of Death 2. Embalming the Body 3. Removal of Brain 4. Removal of Internal Organs 5. Drying Out Process 6. Wrapping of the Body 7. Final Procession

6 Step 1 Announcement of Death This first step was to let the people know that someone had died. A messenger was sent out to the streets to announce the death. This allowed people to get themselves ready for mourning period and ceremony.

7 Materials Used in Mummification
1. Linen Natron 2. Sawdust Onion 3. Lichen Nile Mud 4. Beeswax Linen Pads 5. Resin Frankincense

8 Step 2 Embalming the Body The second step was taking the body to be embalmed. The embalmers were located in special tents or buildings. These buildings were called embalming workshops, and were maintained by teams of priests. Oftentimes during the embalming, the priests would have to step outside to get away from the horrible smell.


10 Step 3 Removal of Brain The first part of the body to be removed was the brain. Egyptians did not know the purpose of the brain, so they thought it was a waste of space. To extract the brain, a hook was inserted through the nose. The embalmers pulled out as much as they could, then put it in water to dissolve. Some people think the water was then thrown out, but others think it was taken with the mummy to the burial chamber.


12 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 embalmers reached in and pulled out the organs. Each of the organs was individually mummified, then stored in little coffins called canopic jars. There were four canopic jars, one for each of the organs. These jars were protected by the four sons of Horus.

13 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 looked over the intestines. He had the head of a falcon.

14 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 packing material to keep the general shape of the person. Sometimes the embalmers were careless and either stuffed too much or too little. This caused the mummy to look puffy or disfigured.

15 Step 5 Drying Out Process The body was placed on a slab and covered with either nacron or natron salt. The slab was tilted so that the water would run off into a basin. This removed moisture and prevented rotting. The body was taken outside and let dry for about forty days. After the body was completely dried out, the wrapping of the body began.

16 These are the mummified remains of a pharaoh named Ramses II.

17 Step 6 Wrapping of the Body

18 Wrapping the body was a painstaking process
Wrapping the body was a painstaking process. It was anointed with oils, and a gold piece with the Eye of Horus was placed over the slit in the abdomen. The Eye of Horus

19 Hundreds of yards of linen were used to wrap the body
Hundreds of yards of linen were used to wrap the body. Each toe and finger was wrapped separately. Charms, amulets, and inscribed pieces of papyrus were placed between each layer of bandage. Egyptians believed that these charms had magical properties that would protect the body. The Eye of Horus, the symbol of protection, was used often. The wrapping process would be stopped once in a while so that the priests could say prayers and write on the linen. A final shroud was placed on the mummy to keep all the wrappings together. Mummia was added to the shroud to "glue" it all together. (That's where the word "mummy" comes from.) Sometimes false eyes were inserted and make-up applied. Then a painted portrait mask was placed over the mummy's head so that dead person's soul (Ka) could recognize its owner. The mummy was then placed into a painted, decorated coffin.

20 Journey to the Underworld
The dead travel on the “Solar Barque.” A boat for the journey is provided for a dead pharaoh in his tomb.

21 Step 7 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 paid to cry so that the gods of the other world would see that the person was well loved. The more people who cried, the more he was loved, and the better chance he had of going to the after world. Before the mummy was taken inside the tomb, a ceremony called "Opening of the Mouth" took place.

22 Priests protected your KA, or soul-spirit

23 Opening of the Mouth The Opening of the Mouth was performed by priests outside the burial chamber.

24 The family of the mummy recited spells while priests used special instruments to touch different parts of the mummy's face. The Egyptians believed that the mummy could not eat, see, hear, or move in the afterlife if the ceremony did not take place. After the Opening of the Mouth ceremony, the dead would be able to eat, breathe, see, hear, etc. in the afterlife. 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 magic spells written on papyrus. This book contained instructions on how to achieve eternal life. Then the tomb was sealed.

25 Egyptian Book of the Dead

26 Weighing of the Heart The most important task came after death. This was called "The Weighing of the Heart." Egyptians believed that the most powerful part of a person was his heart. The heart was never removed from the body - it was considered the center of the being. In this ceremony, the gods of the underworld judged the mummy's heart, or how well he behaved during his natural life. Maat, the goddess of truth, brought out her scale; on one side was the mummy's heart, and on the other was the Feather of Truth.

27 Anubis, the god of the underworld, made the final judgment, and Thoth, the scribe god, recorded it. If the heart balanced the feather, the soul of the mummy was granted immortality. If the heart was heavier than the feather (if the sins outweighed the virtues), the soul was doomed to a horrible fate. The heart was thrown to a monster called Ammit, or Devourer of the Dead.

28 The Final Judgement Anubis Horus Osiris

29 Judgment Day The heart of the dead is weighed against the feather. If the heart is not weighed down with sin and lighter than the feather, the dead person can go on.

30 Queen Tiye, wife of Amenhotep II 1210-1200 B. C. E.
Egyptian Mummies Seti I B. C. E. Ramses II B. C. E. Queen Tiye, wife of Amenhotep II B. C. E.

31 Shabtis: The Pharaoh’s Servants in the Afterlife

32 A Tomb is Found in 1923

33 Burial Chamber Walls made of gilded wood and inlaid blue porcelain and painted with funerary scenes.

34 The Coffin of a Pharaoh Wooden coffin, human shaped, 7 feet 4 inches long. Third coffin made entirely of gold A royal Egyptian mummy had been found untouched.

35 THE CURSE “They who enter this sacred tomb shall swift be visited by the wings of death.” Lord Carnarvon died 7 weeks after entering the burial chamber giving rise to the theory of the "Curse" of King Tut.

36 1. The process of mummification was not very elaborate in the beginning. How did the ancient Egyptians mummify bodies at first? 2. Describe the seven steps in the processes of mummification. 1) ) ) ) ) ) ) What does the ceremony called the Opening of the Mouth do for the dead body? 4. Describe the role of the heart and the feather in the ceremony called the Weighing of the Heart. 5. Do you believe in the curse of King Tut?

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