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:
- Pull brain out of nose using a hook
- Make a cut on the left side of the body near the tummy
- Remove all internal organs
- Let the internal organs dry
- Place the lungs, intestines, stomach and liver inside canopic jars
- Place the heart back inside the body
- Rinse inside of body with wine and spices
- Cover the corpse with natron (salt) for 70 days
- After 40 days stuff the body with linen or sand to give it a more human shape
- After the 70 days wrap the body from head to toe in bandages
- 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.