Scientists believe that mummification of the dead was an accidental practice at first; Egypt's desert air and dry sand preserved bodies buried in shallow pits. It wasn't until around 2600 B.C. that Egyptians began to intentionally mummify the dead.Continue Reading
The most well-preserved mummies include the mummy of King Tutankhamen from the New Kingdom, and mummification from 1570 to 1075 B.C. was the most successful. The process used took 70 days in total and required the use of embalmers, who were special priests trained to treat and wrap the dead.
During mummification, all internal parts of the body were removed with the exception of the heart. Canopic jars were used to store the vital organs near the mummy, although in later mummies, the organs were treated and then wrapped and reinserted into the body during the mummification process.
The body was then salted with natron to remove its moisture. Once it was dried out, linen was used to fill out sunken parts and details like fake eyes were inserted before the body was wrapped in linen. It took hundreds of yards of linen to wrap each mummy. Some of the strips were adorned with magical words and prayers. Resin was used to coat the linen, and then a shroud was wrapped around the mummy before it was inserted into its tomb.Learn more about Ancient History