Friday, July 18, 2008

Types of mummies

The best-known mummies are those that have been intentionally embalmed with the exact reason of preservation, mainly those in ancient Egypt. Egyptian civilization believed the body was home in the afterlife to a person's Ka, which without it would be destined to everlasting wandering. In Egypt, the bodies' abdomens were opened and all organs, except for the heart, were removed and preserved in Canopic jars. The brain, thought to be useless, was pulled out through the nose with hooks, then discarded. It was also drained through the nose after being liquified with the same hooks.
The emptied body was then covered in natron, to speed up the process of dryness and prevent decay. Often finger and toe protectors were placed over the mummies fingers and toes to prevent splintering. They were wrapped with strips of white linen that protected the body from being spoiled. After that, they were wrapped in a sheet of canvas to further protect them. Many sacred charms and amulets were placed in and around the mummy and the wrappings. This was meant to protect the mummy from harm and to give good luck to the Ka of the mummy. In China, preserved corpses have been recovered from underwater cypress coffins packed with medicinal herbs.


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