Mummy in the museum gallery
Mummification
In the time before the pharaohs, the dead were buried in the desert where their bodies were preserved naturally by the heat and dryness of the sand. With the development of elaborate stone tombs came new, artificial techniques of dehydration. Over time these techniques became more sophisticated and those who could afford it had their bodies embalmed.

The mummification process took up to 70 days. The body was washed and the internal organs removed, with the exception of the heart. The liver, stomach, lungs and intestines were kept in special containers called canopic jars. The brain was drawn through the nose with a metal rod so that the head remained intact. The body was then dehydrated in a crushed salt mixture for 40 days. The skin was rubbed with oils and resin to restore suppleness and the cavity was packed with lichen or bandages to reduce shrinkage. Finally the mummy was wrapped in linen bandages and protective amulets.

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