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date: 15 October 2019

Mummy, Egyptianlocked

  • Robert S. Bianchi

Extract

Artificially preserved human and animal remains. Mummification was practised in Egypt from the Early Dynastic period (c. 2925–c. 2575 bc). It is believed that the development of mummification was stimulated by observation of the natural desiccation that occurred in bodies buried in shallow pits in the hot sand of the desert. Over time, the preservation of the body came to be regarded as a prerequisite for survival in the afterlife, and artificial methods of conservation evolved. These were applied both to humans and to animals, especially those interred in mass burials as part of certain religious cults. The practice of mummification continued into the Greco-Roman period (332 bcad 395) but was gradually abandoned with the advent of Christianity. (See also Egypt, ancient, §XIII.)

In humans, the fully developed mummification technique involved the removal of the brain and viscera, the latter being preserved separately in vessels known as ...

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