Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs and the Process of Mummification
Ancient civilizations are studied to help us understand more about our world’s past and to help us recognize how we have become what we are today. Our findings have not only answered questions, but also brought us to ask questions. Perhaps one of the most studied, yet least understood civilizations was the mysterious Ancient Egypt. This country is located in northeast Africa and dates back to over five thousand years. Ancient Egypt is a civilization that held a very unique culture that was separate from the ideas of other ancient civilizations. Intriguing artifacts that have been discovered over time help us to understand what it was like to have lived back then. Egypt is widely known for many things such as The Great Pyramids; The Nile River; Hieroglyphics; Pharaohs, such as King Tutankhamen; mummies, and more. Ever since I first learned about Egypt’s unique culture, ideas, and history, I began to develop a fascination for this ancient civilization. The discovery of ancient findings of mummified pharaohs allows us to better understand what life was like as a pharaoh and the Egyptian’s process of mummification. Pharaohs were people of the ancient Egyptian culture who were at the very top of their hierarchy. They were considered above everyone else and were highly respected because the pharaohs were the religious and political leaders of society. The duties of a pharaoh included being the high priest of all temples, the head law of administration, and Arnold 2
the commander of the army. There were many pharaohs that ruled in Ancient Egypt and all of them strived to leave a mark by becoming eternal legacies. Of the many mighty pharaohs that ruled, only a few have actually accomplished such a goal. Those that have achieved the status have done so through luck as most the tombs, where their remains that give us important historical information about the pharaohs reside, have been destroyed or robbed. The Egyptians believed pharaohs were great people that were believed to be half-man and half-god. Since only the pharaoh and priests were allowed to enter temples, Ancient Egyptians had to ask the pharaoh to speak to the gods for them. This concept made the Egyptians view the pharaoh as the most powerful and all-knowing being. In contrast to many other ancient societies, a man or a woman could hold the head position of being a pharaoh. It is common for most other civilizations to have only men as their political leaders, however Egypt demonstrates its unique character by their pharaohs being either male or female. Because the ancient Egyptians thought that the pharaohs were half-man and half-god, they believed that the pharaoh's spirit could live for an eternity. It was believed that the pharaoh would become a god after he died, so pharaohs were buried in a tomb with many treasures which could be enjoyed in their Afterlife. The process of having a deceased pharaoh’s body be prepared to be placed inside a tomb and remain lifelike to enjoy the Afterlife was acquired through mummification. Ancient Egypt is well known for its use of mummifying human bodies. At first, Egyptians would only mummify deceased bodies, however, over time they began to mummify more people that they thought were of importance. The mummification process Arnold 3
included many steps that were necessary in order for the body to be properly reserved for the afterlife. The process began with an announcement of death, in which a messenger was sent out to the streets to let others know that a person of importance had died and that a burial ceremony would be taking place. This allowed people to get themselves ready for mourning period and ceremony. The second step was taking the body to be embalmed, which is putting various oils on the body to reserve it. The embalmers were located in special tents or buildings which were called embalming...