Archaeologists In Egypt Made A Startling Discovery That Could Unlock The Secrets Of Mummification

Mummification

Mummification was a common practice in ancient Egypt. It was performed because the ancient Egyptians believed that it would ensure the individuals’ immortality after death. Deep beneath an ancient Egyptian burial site, a team of archaeologists are exploring tombs that were excavated over 100 years ago. They are doing this because they are hoping to get some insight into the process of mummification.

The Unification Of Two Kingdoms

In the 31st century B.C., the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt were occurring. The first pharaoh was Narmer, also known as Menes. He created a temple that is known today as the Early Dynastic Period. It would last for close to 3,000 years. During those days, the Egyptians founded Memphis. This was the first capital, only to be replaced with Alexandria in the 4th century B.C. It continues to fascinate archaeologists to this day.

The Three Parts

Experts believe that the mummification goes back as far as the earliest Egyptian dynasties. The ancient Egyptians believed that the human soul could be broken down into three parts. If the body wasn’t intact to act as a vessel, the three parts would be scattered and lost. This caused the Egyptians to fear any harm coming to their bodies after death. This is why they used not only mummification, but they also put the dead in tombs with prayers inscribed on the front to shield the dead from harm. The more important the person was or, the more wealthy, the more elaborate the tomb was.

The Process

Ancient scripts state that the whole process takes 70 days and there are a number of different stages. First, the body is cleaned and prayed over. After the prayer, the body would be bathed in a primitive disinfectant. The organs would be taken from the corpse to be mummified separately. They were placed in canopic jars. To help speed up the drying process, the body would be placed in salt. Next, there would be 30 days of ritual preparations where the body would be anointed with oils. Finally, the body would be wrapped in linen. The Egyptians believed that this would give the dead immortality.

Questions

While we know a lot about the mummification process, there are things that we don’t know. For example, experts aren’t sure how the oils and perfumes were used to preserve the bodies. They also don’t know what these oils and perfumes were made of. Archaeologists In Egypt Made A Startling Discovery That Could Unlock The Secrets Of Mummification.

Shedding Some Light

Finally, experts believe that they can now shed some light on these questions. Their find was uncovered in Saqqara. It is an enormous burial site that is associated with the former capital of Memphis. With so many people living in the city at the time, there was a huge burial ground. Today, the site covers 62 square miles.

Taking Another Look

The site was initially excavated over 100 years ago. In 2016, a team of German and Egyptian archaeologists decided to take another look. During this dig, the archaeologists found a proto-funeral parlor where mummification took place. The room was made of limestone and mud bricks. Inside were vats where the bodies were prepared. Down a 40-foot shaft, they found a large chamber full of artifacts. They found cups and bowls that were used in the embalming process. They were marked with labels detailing the substance that each container held. There were also instructions on how to apply them.

What This Means

According to the project director, Dr. Ramadan Badry Hussein, this information can help them determine the chemical composition of the oils to determine what they are. Not far from the mummification room was a room with dozens of mummified bodies. They found that one of the bodies was a woman named Tabihor.

Second Excavation

According to Hussein, since this area was previously excavated and they found so much more, many areas of Egypt should be examined again. He believes that more could be found with the technology that we have today. He says that things could have been left behind. While not intentionally, archaeologists of the past may have missed some very important things, like the mummification room.

Impossible To Know

It is impossible to know what is still hidden in Egypt that we know nothing about. Some people believe that there are precious artifacts hidden everywhere. Some believe that there are riches still hidden in Egypt. Based on this recent find, there is a good chance that we can learn much more about the ancient Egyptians than we already know. Hussein says that this is huge for archaeologists who specialize in ancient Egypt. Just when you think that there isn’t much left to be found, something as amazing as the mummification room is discovered.