Stories about mummies have been told on Halloween or discussed in an ancient history class, but one doesn’t usually stop and think about how real the process of mummification used to be or the process that it involved. Mummification played a large role in ancient Egyptian society. This strange and fascinating Egyptian ritual is a multi-stepped religious practice of old beliefs.
Deceased people were mummified primarily because of the ancient Egyptian beliefs. The Egyptians believed that there was an afterlife, but in order to get into this afterlife there were steps that needed to be followed. The idea of rebirth was based on the legend of King Osiris who the Egyptians believed was killed by his brother, reassembled by his wife, and brought back to life by his son (William). After mummification, a ritual called “The Opening of the Mouth” is performed which allows the deceased to eat and drink again (“Embalming and Wrapping”). This ceremony is done to reenact the ritual that King Osiris’ son had done for him. After the rebirth of King Osiris, he became known as the God of the underworld. Two very important things are necessary in order to have a pleasant eternal life in what was known as “The Field of Reeds.” First, they must be judged by their good deeds in the underworld, and if their heart is considered pure enough they may continue this eternal life. Second, they must have a well preserved body so that the soul can recognize it after the “Opening of the Mouth” ceremony. For such a preservation to happen there is a careful process of embalming and wrapping of the body (William).
The first step in the mummification of a body is embalming. The process of embalming is one of several steps. First the body is washed with good smelling palm wine and rinsed with water from the Nile. Then an embalmer makes a cut in the left side of the body where all internal organs are removed because they are the first to decompose. Once the organs are out, they are washed and...
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