How To Make A Mummy Ancient Egypt

Background Information

Ancient Egyptian mummies are some of the oldest and most fascinating relics from the past. And while it is well known that Ancient Egyptians used complicated methods and procedures to make mummies, exactly how the mummies were created in antiquity is still largely unknown. This is part of the reason why the topic has been the source of much debate and controversy over the years. In order to better understand how mummies were made inAncient Egypt, we must first take a look at the history of mummification and its evolution over time.

Ancient Egyptian Origins of Mummification

The practice of mummification is believed to have originated in Ancient Egypt around 2500 BCE. It is believed that mummification was intended to preserve the deceased individual’s body and soul, as well as to help prepare them for their journey to the afterlife. The first mummies were known as ‘Ka-Mummies’, referring to the Ka, the life-force of the deceased. The earliest mummies were preserved by a natural process known as ‘desiccation’, where the body was dried out using the desert heat; this was done to preserve the body for religious purposes.

Embalming and Wrapping

The process of embalming is believed to have been developed sometime around 1500 BCE. This process involved removing the internal organs and preserving them in canopic jars before drying out the body in natron (a type of salt) for up to 70 days. The body was then often covered with various substances, including wax, resins and oils, to help preserve it and also to protect against bacteria. After the preservatives had been applied, the body would then be wrapped in cloth or linen. It is thought that the mummy would be then placed in a sarcophagus or coffin and then buried in a tomb.

The Role of Religious Beliefs

Religious beliefs played a large role in the mummification process. Ancient Egyptians believed that the body needed to be preserved in order for the soul to live on in the afterlife. The god of the Duat (the Underworld) and funerary affairs, Osiris, was thought to be particularly concerned with mummification. As such, it is believed that many rituals were conducted during the mummification process, including chants, spells and prayers to ensure that the deceased individual reached the afterlife safely.

The Tools of the Trade

Mummification was a complex and lengthy process that required many tools and instruments. These could include knives, saws, hooks, and rods for making the incisions in the body, as well as various measuring tools for measuring the organs. To preserve and dry out the internal organs, tools such as tongs and small spoons were used. Other tools included bowls and vessels for collecting the fluids, containers for the organs, and oils and spices for preserving the body.

The Process of Mummification

The process of mummification was divided into two phases: embalming and wrapping. During the embalming phase, the internal organs of the deceased individual would be removed and placed within canopic jars for preservation. The body would then be dried out in natron for approximately 40 days to remove the remaining moisture from the body. During the wrapping phase, the body would then be wrapped in multiple layers of linen and resins, which were used to help preserve the body and help protect against bacteria. Some mummies were also adorned with jewelry or amulets in order to protect them in the afterlife.

The Practice Today

Although the practice of mummification has largely died out, it is still practiced today in places such as Peru, where it is used as a way to honour and preserve the remains of ancestors. Today, modern techniques such as taxidermy and freeze drying are also used to create mummies.

Preservation of the Mummies

In order to preserve the body of the mummy, the Ancient Egyptians used a variety of techniques. The most common method was to add preservatives such as oils and resins to the body, which helped to slow down the decomposition process. They also used wax to cover the face and eyes of the mummy, in order to protect against any damage from insects or rodents. The mummies were then kept in tombs which were sealed and well ventilated to prevent deterioration.


The process of mummification in Ancient Egypt was a complex and lengthy process that was used to enable the deceased individual to enjoy eternal life in the afterlife. By understanding the history and evolution of mummification, as well as the tools used to create mummies and the techniques used to preserve them, we can better appreciate and understand this ancient practice.

Clarence Norwood

Clarence E. Norwood is an author and scholar specializing in the history and archaeology of ancient peoples. He has written extensively on the civilizations of the Near East, Egypt, and the Mediterranean. He has authored numerous books and articles on a wide range of topics, including the evolution of the alphabet, the rise of the ancient nations, and the impact of ancient cultures and religions on modern society. He has also conducted archaeological field research in North Africa, the Middle East, and Europe.

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