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Mummification - part 1

60 second histories

This video covers: 

Life after death and what happens when a pharaoh dies, it explains the grisly process of mummification to preserve the body and turn it into a mummy.

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We Egyptians believe in life after death so when a pharaoh dies, as the high priest, it’s my job to preserve the body so it can be used in the afterlife. This is called mummification. The first job is to remove the organs because they decompose very quickly. To do this, I make a hole through the nose and use an iron hook to draw the brain out through the nostril, then I make a cut down the side of the body to draw out the other internal organs, the heart is left behind because it’ll be needed in the afterlife. When all this is done the body has to be dried out and to do this I use a salt, called natron. The whole process is called embalming and takes up to seventy days, forty of which are taken up with drying out the body. When the body is dry, liquid resin is poured over to preserve it. To stop the skin from cracking I rub in a mixture of cedar oil, wax, natron and gum and then, just to fill out the body, I stuff it with sawdust and bits of cloth to keep it in shape. Finally I wrap the body in layers of linen bandages; do you know I use hundreds of meters of linen to wrap a mummy?
Eras: 
Ancient Egypt
Topics: 
Religion
Character: 
Egyptian high priest
Key words: 
Ancient Egypt, Egyptian, Egyptians, High priest, Mummification, Pharaoh, Mummifying, Preserving, Embalming, Brain, nostrils, Body, Wrapped, Bandages, Mummy, afterlife, mummify, natron, wax, resin, organs, embalm, pharaoh, brain, internal organs, KS2, Year 3, Year 4, Year 5, Year 6, Key Stage 2