Egyptians believed that people had to be mummified to live forever. They thought that after the person was dead their soul became something different. Reports indicate that the soul took the shape of a bird. Egyptians saw heaven as paradise. They often called heaven the «Field of Reeds» where people grew crops. They thought the crops grew a foot taller in heaven. Mummification is a long and sacred part of Egyptian history. This essay will help outline the mummification and burial process often performed only for the pharaohs of Ancient Egypt.
For centuries mummification was a wonderful and great privilege enjoyed by the pharaohs of Ancient Egypt. From about 2500 B. C. many more people were able to hope for immortality by having themselves embalmed. Mummification remained an expensive business, well beyond most Egyptians. The process of mummification preserves the body so it won't rot away. It is also called embalming. After the person was dead the embalmer would take out the internal organs; intestines, lungs, stomach, and liver. Perhaps the most well known method was the use of Canopic Jars. These were used to hold the lungs, liver, stomach and intestines of the deceased. Initially these jars had a lid that represented the deceased, or the four sons of Horus. Depending on the period, and the wealth of the dead person, various methods were used.
An excellent embalming took 70 days. The first 40 days were dedicated to removing every single drop of moisture from the body to leave no breeding ground for the bacteria to cause decay. The brain was removed first followed by the internal organs. Then the body was covered in natron, a kind of natural salt made of baking soda. The body was covered with oils and resins and finally wrapped tightly in linen bandages many times over. In certain burials, such as those of the Pharaohs, the provision for the protection of the internal organs was often more sophisticated. The embalmed organs were placed inside the coffins, which were then put into an alabaster canopic chest with the four stoppers carved with the Pharaohs likeness.
The mummies were put in coffins that were made of wood or plaster. Some of the pharaohs were laid to rest in golden coffins. The mummies were buried with a book of magic spells to help them through the underworld. The important people, like the pharaohs, were buried in tombs. Egyptians put things in the pharaohs' tombs that would help them in the after life. They put things like spears and shields to hunt, a couch to be comfortable, jewels to be rich, lots of fancy clothes, and food.
In conclusion, ancient Egyptians thought that in order to live forever the body had to be mummified. The process of mummification was to preserve the body to prevent rotting. The internal organs were removed and placed in canopic jars for preservation. The embalming process usually took 70 days to complete, most of which was dedicated to the removal of body moisture. Once the embalming process was completed the body was wrapped tightly in linen bandages many times. As we can see the mummification process was a long and complicated process. The modern world has learned many secrets that may one day prove helpful to those interested in body preservation during the afterlife.