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The oldest Egyptian mummy ever found to date is over 5000 years old. Mummification was a very important concept to the Ancient Egyptians. They believed a great deal in the afterlife and thought that mummification would assist their souls on this journey. They were usually buried with many offerings because Ancient Egyptians believed that these things (ex. food) were needed.
The mummification process was a very expensive and lengthy process. Pharoahs (Kings) were mummified because they were important people and also possessed wealth. This is one of the reasons why they had very elaborate tombs built for their bodies. People of nobility were also usually mummified because they had money as well. Common people usually did not have the money to pay for the mumification process.
To understand the answer to this, you should realize that it was not only the kings who were mummified. Thousands of mummies have been found, not all were kings. Basically, anyone who could afford to be mummified, was. The reason for this was because the Egyptians felt that being mummified was necessary in order to have a good afterlife. They believed that only people whose dead bodies were well preserved could really have a complete life in the world that comes after death.
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