A Step by Step guide to Egyptian Mummification

Mummification Step by Step

Ancient Egyptians believed in an afterlife when someone died.  Mummification helped someone reach the afterlife as they thought that, in order to have an afterlife, the dead person would have to repossess his or her body. Egyptians believed that the only way to do this was if the body was recognisable.


Mummification was mainly done to wealthy people as poorer people could not afford the process. 


The chief embalmer was a priest wearing a mask of Anubis. Anubis was the jackal headed god of the dead. He was closely associated with mummification and embalming, hence priests wore a mask of Anubis.

This is the step-by-step process* of how mummification took place:  

  1. Insert a hook through a hole near the nose and pull out part of the brain
  2. Make a cut on the left side of the body near the tummy
  3. Remove all internal organs
  4. Let the internal organs dry
  5. Place the lungs, intestines, stomach and liver inside canopic jars
  6. Place the heart back inside the body
  7. Rinse inside of body with wine and spices
  8. Cover the corpse with natron (salt) for 70 days
  9. After 40 days stuff the body with linen or sand to give it a more human shape
  10. After the 70 days wrap the body from head to toe in bandages
  11. Place in a sarcophagus (a type of box like a coffin)

If the person had been a Pharaoh, he would be placed inside his special burial chamber with lots of treasure!

*To see a more detailed explanation of the mummification process, see another My Learning resource: Make me a mummy! Embalming tips

To learn about an Egyptian tale of how mummification started, see  Osiris and Isis: The Origin of Mummification

Also look on the British Museum's Ancient Egypt website (see Related Links at the bottom of the page) for an illustrated guide to the mummification process.


Document icon Learning article provided by: Royal Pump Room Museum | 

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    I thought the heart wasnt taken out because it was thought to hold the person's feelings and soul.

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    really helpful thanks!!!!!!!!

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  • Posted by Nathan Dank on 29/11/2012

    what about the makeup used to make the face look not so pale

  • Posted by nene on 13/11/2012

    First, his body is taken to the tent known as 'ibu' or the 'place of purification'. There the embalmers wash his body with good-smelling palm wine and rinse it with water from the Nile.

  • Posted by PIPER on 21/05/2012

    and they rub the body with oils

  • Posted by Dori on 02/05/2012

    yeah the weighing of the heart is a part of the test to get into the after world

  • Posted by tinkerbell on 29/04/2012

    they forgot to say that thay send someone like a messender boy to tell everone of the pharaoh deaf

  • Posted by chan on 16/04/2012

    first they would announce the death of someone

  • Posted by Maria B. on 11/03/2012

    They forgot the weighing of the heart! That is very important so you know how many things to hold the mummy in!

  • Posted by serena on 05/03/2012

    this is a cool one

  • Posted by Daisy s. on 24/02/2012

    today i learned,they took the brain out,first they had to break the nose, and then pull out the brian with a hook bit by bit. The Egyptians thought they have gotten all of it because they have thought the brain was useless. They were "finished" with the brain with about 6 to 8 little chunks.*i have more*

  • Posted by christina on 03/02/2012

    kool man !!!!!!!

  • Posted by My Learning on 03/02/2012

    Hello! Quite a few of you have asked for more explanation on mummification so we have added a link (right at the bottom of this page) to the British Museum's illustrated guide on their Ancient Egypt website. Have a look - it's excellent! Let us know what you think.

  • Posted by HLK12cutesie on 02/02/2012

    You could have at least explained the steps like for example, 1. Took out brain using brain hook.. (and how they did it) I'm not saying you explained it horribly, but I'm just saying maybe it could be like that so people can understand it more...

  • Posted by big-h on 26/01/2012

    you havent explained why they mummified people very well it could have been more detailed

  • Posted by Camila G. on 24/01/2012

    I asked for explanation in the process. I didn't recieve that. Add an explanation to the process.

  • Posted by TAMIM on 08/11/2011

    I want more details about this mummification

  • Posted by sabrina lee on 05/11/2011

    Can i get this instruction with pictures please

  • Posted by halima on 04/11/2011

    my class is going to the museum and were going to see the rosseta stone.

  • Posted by tayler cox on 14/09/2011

    when was it build.

  • Posted by tayler cox on 14/09/2011

    i thought that the museum was really like wow

  • Posted by ruby on 01/08/2011


  • Posted by anosha khalid on 30/01/2011

    a very help ful site for mummyfication.my teacher love that process of mine.which i have copied it from this page. thanks a lot!

  • Posted by gabrielle jefferson on 27/07/2010


  • Posted by Bob Green on 31/05/2010

    very helpful

  • Posted by Anthony Holmes on 18/05/2010

    According to practical research by Bob Brier it is impossible to "Pull the brain through the nose". The brain matter is too insubstantial. It is proposed that the hook was inserted through the nasal cavity and the brain "Whisked up" until it was liquid enough to drain out through the nose when the body was inverted. Rather gruesome but there you are!

  • Posted by jhgfd on 09/05/2010

    very helpful for my egypt assignmentg

  • Posted by 1234512345 on 12/04/2010

    very helpful great step by step process just what I needed for my project

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