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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 why priests wore a mask of Anubis.

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

  1. Pull brain out of nose using a hook
  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.

 

At Harrogate Museums and Arts we run a hands on mummification session on our mummy doll.

Please contact Harrogate Museums and Arts for more information or to book a session.  




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

Comment on this page

  • Posted by john on 30/03/2014

    it is really good. bravo

  • Posted by jade on 26/03/2014

    most of what baily says is right, i would not recommend this for school projoct, same as you who are reading this

  • Posted by Courtney on 11/03/2014

    Most of its wrong you don't take the heart out of the body!! Nn

  • Posted by Vicky My Learning Team on 26/02/2014

    Thank you Bailey for your helpful comment. We have corrected our use of the word coffin

  • Posted by Bailey on 26/02/2014

    Ancient Egyptians used sarcophaguses not coffins

  • Posted by I LOVE YOU on 21/02/2014

    This work of literature has very good info. I appreciate how it is step by step. Lots of websites don't have this! Thanks so much for helping me with my Egyptian essay! P.S. the other writers leaving comments need to work on their literature.

  • Posted by francessca on 21/02/2014

    this was not very well informed. will not be using this info for my project!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Posted by BAILEY on 20/02/2014

    WOW WOW WOW HELP FOLL FOR ME AND I MIT SHOW MY CLASS

  • Posted by Jazzy on 19/02/2014

    We're doing an essay on Ancient Egypt, and I learned a lot of cool things from this!!!!!!! : )

  • Posted by boby on 12/02/2014

    Soooo helpful

  • Posted by lola on 31/01/2014

    this really helped me .its really helpful

  • Posted by swagger on 30/01/2014

    wow this is so cool omg yeah wow. This info was great and I got a B-. YAAAY

  • Posted by Ryan truax on 29/01/2014

    Thanks helpful

  • Posted by myla on 29/01/2014

    i can't thank u all so much , it's just so cool.

  • Posted by myla on 29/01/2014

    thanks for helping me enhance my story with great information! you are cool and awesome .

  • Posted by mookie on 26/01/2014

    this is awesome thanx you guys helped me with my report.

  • Posted by Aidan on 20/01/2014

    Nasty, but cool

  • Posted by Rodney on 15/01/2014

    Awsome!!!

  • Posted by David Gido Park on 06/01/2014

    need more detail

  • Posted by bronwyn on 02/01/2014

    It helped me with some stuff cos i'm doing a project but ADD MORE DETAIL PLZ!

  • Posted by Soph on 29/12/2013

    I am doing a project so it helped a little, but add more detail

  • Posted by Caleb on 12/12/2013

    Cool but more details.

  • Posted by maria z on 12/12/2013

    it helped me on this thing but it doesnt have detail

  • Posted by Bryant.r on 11/12/2013

    Thanks,this is a BIG in my project!But needs a little more details in number 3.

  • Posted by free wilson on 09/12/2013

    this is good..it helped me on my project..the only problem i have is thatt it has no details,still...thank you

  • Posted by Jadon Clay on 07/12/2013

    This is the best website ever. Thx it helped me with my essay/project

  • Posted by Jalen on 05/12/2013

    This website helped alot thanks soo much for ur help

  • Posted by Hannah Williamson on 25/11/2013

    This website helped me so much with my mummification project!!!

  • Posted by francis on 22/11/2013

    i love this website it helped me with my mummifying essay

  • Posted by bobby on 21/11/2013

    this website has helped me so much!!!!

  • Posted by Fiona on 16/11/2013

    OMG!! This has helped me so much! Do more!

  • Posted by Jessie Curpia-Koan on 12/11/2013

    Thanks a million! I've been doing a Egypt report for about 1 1/2 week. Thanks for your help! I totally passed the test!

  • Posted by Michael on 08/11/2013

    Yeah, it also does need more description, but I found it on some other websites

  • Posted by Michael on 08/11/2013

    Dude I have a project due next monday and this helped alot thanks dude

  • Posted by bob Jones on 08/11/2013

    This helped a little but i need a more descriptive step by step process.

  • Posted by Curtis la douceur on 06/11/2013

    Very gross

  • Posted by Rockey blue on 06/11/2013

    This is the best place if have a project and it is due the next day

  • Posted by karine on 04/11/2013

    nothing can be grosser then that honest!!

  • Posted by sophia lynch on 04/11/2013

    I would not want to be mummified this is so gross

  • Posted by ryry on 03/11/2013

    coooool

  • Posted by Jimbob on 31/10/2013

    Cool but gross

  • Posted by gerald on 24/10/2013

    this is so crazy and gross i cant believe it

  • Posted by stacey on 24/10/2013

    I love this website but it has really gross stuff

  • Posted by stacey on 24/10/2013

    this is so gross.

  • Posted by marleny on 24/10/2013

    this is awesome it help my girl with her Egypt project

  • Posted by paige on 20/10/2013

    i think this was good. it helped and was a step step process

  • Posted by Hi dad on 10/10/2013

    Awesome

  • Posted by anonymous on 09/10/2013

    you people need to give like a more discriptive step by step guide for this. it hardly helped me on my project. BE MORE DISCRIPTIVE!!

  • Posted by Lizr on 03/10/2013

    This didn't help much because it doesn't say what spices

  • Posted by lukas on 01/10/2013

    awsome learning

  • Posted by Bob jenkins on 24/09/2013

    THX SOOOO MUCH it hlelped me so much in my egyptology assignmant

  • Posted by willis on 18/09/2013

    It help me make a human mummy

  • Posted by epic dude on 16/09/2013

    It helps me with my homework thank you so much

  • Posted by Egyptian Homework Worrier on 11/09/2013

    You guys are AWESOME u helped HEAPS with my assignment!!!

  • Posted by alex chambers on 21/08/2013

    this is great for assignments on the process of mummification big thanx mate good on ya bro

  • Posted by Laiba Wahab on 11/07/2013

    It helps in my homework. thankyou

  • Posted by sammy on 24/06/2013

    this really helped with my homework thank you!

  • Posted by THE JANITOR on 21/06/2013

    I love this! It helped me with homework! Thanks!

  • Posted by andrew hueson on 05/06/2013

    This website helped me not do any extra homework.This is awesome!

  • Posted by jasmine on 20/05/2013

    Thanks a lot really needed it for my big project this made it such a breeze

  • Posted by Ninja on 16/05/2013

    This helped alot with my homework! Thanks!

  • Posted by irakaur on 16/05/2013

    thank a lot even i got it as a homework god i must say it is very hard to find out about mummification!!!!!!!!!

  • Posted by man2 on 13/05/2013

    thanks

  • Posted by jessie on 11/05/2013

    thanks theat helped a lot with my homework on mummification :)

  • Posted by lola on 09/05/2013

    great website love it !!!!!!!

  • Posted by sully on 08/05/2013

    helpful site

  • Posted by CaMdEnSnAt on 08/05/2013

    Thanks a billion i got full marks thanks to this website !

  • Posted by jennifer on 24/04/2013

    I have a Huge project due. You helped a Lot THANK U!

  • Posted by jojoma on 18/04/2013

    THIS HELPED ME SO MUCH!!!! I would not of understood my home work with u. THANK U! THANK U!

  • Posted by Kat1234 on 15/04/2013

    thanks it me helped a bit but it should explain it more.

  • Posted by Rebecca on 11/04/2013

    Helped me loads on a project

  • Posted by Worgen on 02/04/2013

    Thanks so much helped me a lot on project!

  • Posted by antonio on 05/03/2013

    there has to be more steps but thanks

  • Posted by maria on 05/03/2013

    thank you for the steps

  • Posted by Lucien on 03/03/2013

    Thanks helped so much with my project

  • Posted by Duncan Cassidy on 25/02/2013

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

  • Posted by Duncan Cassidy on 25/02/2013

    Thanks i can finish my school project now.

  • Posted by Rachel smith on 12/02/2013

    Thank you so much know I can finally finish my paper it help a lot oh and what about the makeup I'm really curious.

  • Posted by alice on 30/01/2013

    really helpful thanks!!!!!!!!

  • Posted by anonymous on 15/01/2013

    rly helpful;)

  • 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

    awesome

  • 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

    THIS WAS THE MOST HELPFUL SITE TO MUMMIFICATION. THANKS A TONNE!

  • 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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