History of Mummification

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Updated: Apr 30, 2024
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The ancient Egyptians started mummification over 4500 years ago! The embalmers, scribes, and cutter, who were all part of the process, worked for over two months to mummify the pharaohs and important people. Mummification is a crazy, but interesting idea from the process of mummification to who they decide to mummify.

History of Mummification

The ancient Egyptians started mummification about 3500 B.C. They believed way back then that there was an afterlife, and that important people need to be mummified and preserved for a safe passage to the afterlife.

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All the tombs contained remnants of food offerings and some goods and treasures. The original idea of mummification was came from preservation. They saw how bodies were preserved in the sand, then tried to think of better ideas. Originally, corpses were put in shallow rectangles.

Who Got Mummified?

The richest were mummified, because they had lots of money, and therefore power. The more important they were, the bigger the ceremony was. In the tombs there were servants, that were sealed in their with the dead body, and sometimes they would even kill family members to go live with their relative in the afterlife.

The Process of Mummification

The process of mummification was a long process that took multiple people. There were three main people; the scribe, the embalmer, and the cutter. The scribe would oversee the initial cut of the body and document the process of mummification, the cutter would make the first cut, and then the embalmer would remove the internal organs and prepare the body. Usually the process of mummification would take place in a workshop close to the tomb. The reason for that was that the process of mummifying the body could take over 2 months. The body would be stripped and put on a board. Then they would suck the brain straight out of the nose. Once they had the brains, they would store the brains in canopic jars (noun – a covered urn used in ancient Egyptian burials to hold the entrails from an embalmed body). Once the body was embalmed, it was wrapped in cloth, and put in a coffin. Then it was put in the tomb.


Ancient Egypt had some pretty crazy ideas. The actual history of mummies and who they decided to mummify is pretty crazy. It seems like the Egyptians were very selective over who got mummified. The process of mummification seems pretty messed up, but our way of preserving bodies can’t be that different. Ancient Egypt must have been a cool time to be alive, but imagine how much less we would know about their heritage and what it was like back then.

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History of Mummification. (2019, Jul 12). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/history-of-mummification/