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The Mummy Kept Its Posture And Clothes Naturally, Surprising Archaeologists ‎ ‎

The Mummy Kept Its Posture And ClothesNaturally, Surprising ArchaeologistsThe ancient people of Egypt were the ones who used the practice ofmummification more than any other, in order to preserve their bodies intacteven after death.

The numerous Egyptian mummies that have come down tous, together with the texts and depictions on papyrus and on the walls of thetombs, are inexhaustible sources of information on mummification rites.The natural post-mortem decay of living organisms does not allow goodpreservation for a long time but with the mummification treatment, deprivingthe corpse of the liquids thanks to which those microorganisms that lead toits deterioration develop, it is possible to dry the deceased. Only in regionswith a particularly arid or harsh climate such as the cold areas of Europe hasthe natural process of mummification shown evidence, but the same resultscan be obtained artificially with the use of chemical substances.

The Egyptians believed in life after death but only by keeping the body intactwas it possible to access it. The soul flew away in the form of a bird and onlyafter each phase of mummification had been completed did life return to thebody. In the Old Kingdom, 2650-2200 BC, mummification was the prerogativeof kings, but from the Middle Kingdom, 2070-1785 BC, the entire populationbegan to be mummified, including cats, dogs, crocodiles, monkeys and birds.The Egyptians were convinced that divinity manifested itself in someanimals and this explains the depictions of crossbreeding between humans and animals.

The embalmers intervened when they sensed an unmistakable signal: thedesperate crying of the women. They worked on the banks of the Nilebecause they needed large quanтιтies of water to wash the corpse.

Theybegan by removing the viscera (brain, heart, lungs, liver, stomach andintestines) and placing them in four jars, the canopic jars.They then purified the body with balsamic oils, resins or bitumen, thencovered the body with a soda-based substance, natron. The heart wasreplaced with a scarab-shaped object, symbol of rebirth and, after the timenecessary to allow the body to dry, the abdominal cavities were filled withlinen cloth, salt, onions and resins. To protect the deceased, various amuletswere inserted into the mummy and at the end the body was bandaged andplaced in the sarcophagus.

In addition to the Egyptians, others practiced mummification. In NorthAmerica, native populations, for example the Navajos, favored by the dryclimate, left the bodies of people of high social and economic rank andwarriors to dry naturally.In Peru, the bodies of Inca leaders, venerated as deities, were mummified inthe 15th century by natural drying or through the use of chemicalsubstances. Natural mummification was also used in the sacrific