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Mummies: The Why and The How of Mummification

             The Why and The How of Mummification.
             Mummification, in prehistoric times, was thought to happen by accident due to the lack of rainfall in Egypt. The dry sand and air preserved bodies that were buried in shallow sand graves. Mummification however, was practiced throughout most of early Egyptian history. It was around 2600 B.C. that the Egyptians intentionally began to mummify their dead. It is believed that the traditional method began withIsis, who mummified her husband, Osiris? (DiPaolo, M.S.) Burying the dead was a religious practice of the Egyptians.The Egyptians believed that the vital life-force was composed of several psychical elements?, with the most important element being the Ka (DiPaolo, M.S.) Ka is the part of the human being that defines personality and that survives life on earth after death?. (Sayre, 416) The Ka could not exist without the body, so preserving the corpse became imperative. Why did the Egyptians preserve the body? The Egyptians believed the mummified body was the home for the soul and spirit. If the body were destroyed, the spirit would be lost. .
             The Egyptians would duplicate the body of the dead to accompany the body throughout life and after death. Wood and stone replicas were put inside tombs in the event the mummy was destroyed. The greater the number of duplicates, the more chances the dead body had of being resurrected. The death rituals and mummification suggest that the Egyptians were preoccupied with death, but the early planning for death was due to 'their great love of life? and they wanted to make sure that great lifewould continue after death? (Encyclopedia Smithsonian).
             The mummification process took seventy days? (Encyclopedia Smithsonian). Special priests were embalmers that treated and wrapped the bodies. These priests also had to know rituals and prayers, and had to have knowledge of the human anatomy.
             First, the priests would remove the internal organs.

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