Mummies II

Anubis the God of Embalmers


Ironically the first intentional mummies were much less preserved as the accidental ones (meaning the poor people who could only afford to bury their dead in shallow graves with very few burial goods). Pieces of early mummies have been found, but they were only bones wrapped in linen. No mummifying process has been used on them and it is clear that the first attempt was to keep the body dry.

Just like with the ‘Pyramid Texts’ the pharaohs were the first to be mummified and preserved, though many did not survive the process. A famous example is a left foot that was discovered in Djoser’s famous Step Pyramid. It is unknown whether the foot belonged to Djoser himself, but it had been clearly mummified, though it had been poorly preserved.

Step Pyramid


Just like with the ‘Coffin Texts’ and the ‘Book of the Dead’, the mummifying process became available to the nobility and to the common people. The mummifying process was perfected in the New Kingdom, however, it was very expensive and only the very rich could pay the high bills. In order to get more clients, the embalmers had several qualities to offer their clients (think of the original iPod and the subsequent cheap knockoffs). The more money you could pay, the better chance your body had to survive through the centuries.

After the glory of the New Kingdom, the mummifying process detirioated and mummies from that period are amongst the worst in the group known as the Egyptian mummies.

Ramses I’s mummy (?)


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