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Mummies

On our travels, we run into an Embalmer from Thebes, we ask him how Ancients mummified thier dead, here is what he has to say:

"So you want to know how we embalm deceased ones? I will explain it in the most simplest of terms, although you may think it is rather gross. We Egyptians believe in an Afterlife. To ensure that the soul enjoys eternal life there, the body of the dead has to be mummified; the preservation of the body is fundamental to our belief. The earliest technique for mummification was brick or wood-lined tombs; the body was enclosed in a reed or wooden coffin, and wrapped in linen strips soaked with resin.

True mummification was started in the fourth dynasty when the process of dehydration by Natron (A naturally occurring compound of sodium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate, and salt). This served as the basis for chemically preserved mummies for the next 3,ooo years. When Natron and linen become too expensive, we started dipping less important bodies in asphalt, but the Pharaoh was still mummified in the traditional ways, nothing is too expensive for Pharaoh!

Our records are vague about how we preformed mummification, but the record of the Historian Herodotus says the process took 70 days.

Here is the process of mummification:

First we remove the lungs, liver, stomach, and intestines through an incision on the right side of the body. We leave the heart inside the body. Then we remove the brain through the nose with a hook and take it out in pieces or we used a whisk type object to turn the brain into a liquid and drain it. We think the brain does nothing and that the heart is the center of thought and memories, thatís why we left the heart inside the body whereas we take all the other organs out. After that we place the body on a tilted cot with a hole at the feet where liquid from the body would drain out into a dish. Then we pack the body inside and out with natron for 40 days. After 40 days, we wash the body and pack the inside with Resin and Linen, then the whole body is wrapped in hundreds of yards of linen strips. We dry the internal organs, wrap them, and place them in Canopic Jars.

Well, I hope thatís simple enough for you, I enjoyed our time, but I must go back to work, I have a scribe to embalm! Good-bye."

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