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How Mummies Were Made

First the body was cleaned with a wine solution and spices. This was to kill as many bacteria as possible and stop the body from decaying. Then all the organs that could decay were removed. The brain was the organ that was removed first, using a long hook through the nose. The Egyptians didn't think the brain was important, so it was destroyed during the mummification process.

Next they took out the internal organs, lungs, stomach, liver, and intestines by making deep cuts in the abdomen.

Then the body was stuffed with natron. Natron was a type of salt found by wells. It is similar to ordinary salt mixed with bicarbonate of soda. The body was covered in natron, also. After it was covered it was placed on a slanted embalming table, so that any fluids could drip out of the body.

They also dried the internal organs with natron, while the body was drying.

After the organs were dried out they were place in special jars called canopic jars.

The stoppers of canopic jars were shaped like the heads of the four sons of the god Horus. Each son protected the organ placed inside his jar. 

  • Duamutef, who had the head of a jackal, guarded the jar that contained the stomach. 
  • Qebehsenuf, who had the head of a falcon, watched over the intestines. 
  • Hapi, the baboon-headed son of Horus, protected the lungs, while human-headed 
  • Imseti was in charge of protecting the liver. Canopic jars were usually stored in a chest that was later placed in the tomb with the mummy.

After the body was fully dried and cleaned, it was decorated with jewelry. Then it was covered in linen shrouds (cloths) and wrapped with linen strips.

Small magical amulets were inserted between the layers of the bandages to further protect the mummy's spirit on its way to the afterlife. As each layer was added, it was coated with resin to hold the wrappings together with a waterproof seal.



Make a canopic jar ~

Mummify some fruit ~

Make a life-sized mummy case

Explain the steps used to mummify a body. Write it like a set of instructions. Use imperative sentences.

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