The process of mummification

Egyptian Mummification Egyptian Mummification Egyptian embalmers were so skilled that people mummified four thousand years ago still have skin, hair and recognizable features such as scars and tattoos.

The process of mummification

Guanche mummies The mummies of the Canary Islands belong to the indigenous Guanche people and date to the time before 14th Century Spanish explorers settled in the area. All deceased people within the Guanche culture were mummified during this time, though the level of care taken with embalming and burial varied depending on individual social status.

Embalming was carried out by specialized groups, organized according to gender, who were considered unclean by the rest of the community. The techniques for embalming were similar to those of the ancient Egyptians; involving evisceration, preservation, and stuffing of the evacuated bodily cavities, then wrapping of the body in animal skins.

Despite the successful techniques utilized by the Guanche, very few mummies remain due to looting and desecration. While there is some evidence of deliberate mummification, most sources state that desiccation occurred naturally due to unique conditions within the crypts.

The unique air quality and topsoil within the crypt naturally preserved the bodies over time. In the early s, the mummies were accidentally damaged during repairs, resulting in the loss of bodies. The newly updated airing system preserves the thirty-eight bodies that are currently on display.

She was found with several artifacts made of bronze, consisting of buttons, a belt plate, and rings, showing she was of higher class.

All of the hair had been removed from the skull later when farmers had dug through the casket. Her original hairstyle is unknown.

All three mummies were dated to — BC. Carbon dating showed that she had died around BC; examination also revealed that she was around 18—19 years old at the time of death, and that she had been buried in the summertime. Her hair had been drawn up in an elaborate hairstyle, which was then covered by a horse hair hairnet made by the sprang technique.

She was wearing a blouse and a necklace as well as two golden earrings, showing she was of higher class. She was wearing a bodice and a skirt, including a belt and bronze bracelets. Found with the girl, at her feet, were the cremated remains of a child and, by her head, a box containing some bronze pins, a hairnet, and an awl.

Who Was Mummified

The discovery proved to be scientifically important, and by an exhibition was established in the Museum of Natural History in Budapest. Unique to the Hungarian mummies are their elaborately decorated coffins, with no two being exactly alike. The varied geography and climatology of Italy has led to many cases of spontaneous mummification.

Originally intended to hold the deliberately mummified remains of dead friars, interment in the catacombs became a status symbol for the local population in the following centuries. Burials continued until the s, with one of the most famous final burials being that of Rosalia Lombardo.

In all, the catacombs host nearly mummies. Catacombe dei Cappuccini The most recent discovery of mummies in Italy came inwhen sixty mummified human remains were found in the crypt of the Conversion of St Paul church in Roccapelago di PievepelagoItaly.

Built in the 15th century as a cannon hold and later converted in the 16th century, the crypt had been sealed once it had reached capacity, leaving the bodies to be protected and preserved.

The crypt was reopened during restoration work on the church, revealing the diverse array of mummies inside. The bodies were quickly moved to a museum for further study. While the mummies provide a wealth of historically-significant data, native cultures and tradition often demands the remains be returned to their original resting places.

This has led to many legal actions by Native American councils, leading to most museums keeping mummified remains out of the public eye. The "Greenland Mummies" consisted of a six-month-old baby, a four-year-old boy, and six women of various ages, who died around years ago.

The process of mummification

Their bodies were naturally mummified by the sub-zero temperatures and dry winds in the cave in which they were found. These bodies are collectively known as Aztec mummies. Genuine Aztec mummies were "bundled" in a woven wrap and often had their faces covered by a ceremonial mask. Aztec mummy Natural mummification has been known to occur in several places in Mexico, though the most famous are the mummies of Guanajuato.

The museum claims to have the smallest mummy in the world on display a mummified fetus. United States[ edit ] Spirit Cave Man was discovered in during salvage work prior to guano mining activity that was scheduled to begin in the area. The mummy is a middle-aged male, found completely dressed and lying on a blanket made of animal skin.

Radiocarbon tests in the s dated the mummy to being nearly 9, years old.May 26,  · Mummification is the process by which a body is preserved. Bodies can become mummified when submerged in a bog, exposed to certain chemicals, stored in extreme cold or in a place with low humidity.

The mummification process took seventy days. Special priests worked as embalmers, treating and wrapping the body.

Beyond knowing the correct rituals and prayers to be performed at various stages, the priests also needed a detailed knowledge of human anatomy. Egyptian Mummification.

The process of mummification

Egyptian embalmers were so skilled that people mummified four thousand years ago still have skin, hair and recognizable features such as scars and tattoos. It was mined from dry lake beds and used in the mummification process to soak up water from the body.

Mummification was mainly done to wealthy people as poorer people could not afford the process. The chief embalmer was a priest wearing a mask of Anubis. Anubis was the jackal headed god of the dead.

The mummification process took seventy days. Special priests worked as embalmers, treating and wrapping the body. Beyond knowing the correct rituals and prayers to be performed at various stages, the priests also needed a detailed knowledge of human anatomy.

Ancient Egyptian funerary practices - Wikipedia

The process of mummification has two stages. First, the embalming of the body. Then, the wrapping and burial of the body.

Egyptian Mummies | Smithsonian Institution