Detail the process of mummification. What was involved? Why?what could hinder this process? Also discuss the ritals involved

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marilynn07 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mummification is a process of drying and preserving the remains of the deceased. The practice of mummification was used by Ancient Egyptians who believed that they would live in the afterlife.

After the death of a "royal", the body was taken away to be washed with a solution of natron which was probably sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). After that, ritual prayers were said and the internal organs were removed from the body and placed in jars that would stay with the body. The body was then covered with dry natron, and natron was probably placed in the body cavity hastening the drying process.

After a 40 day period, the body would be wrapped in bandages according to the ritual prescribed in The Book of the Dead to await rebirth in the afterlife. The linens were covered with resin and sweet smelling aromatic oils such as camphor, myrrh, and frankensense.  Evidently great pains were taken to make a good representation of the person on the death mask.

The sarcophagus was sealed and the necessary items that would be needed in the afterlife were then placed in the tomb along with the dead. Sometimes family pets were killed and mummified along with the deceased. Servants, slaves, food, weapons, etc...were found in Egyptian tombs to serve the needs of the deceased in the afterlife.