2. Ancient Egyptian mummification developed over time. The first burials in the hot desert sands led to natural mummification of the whole body. Later, placing the body in a coffin meant that only the skeleton survived. Then the Egyptians learned how to artificially mummify the body before putting it in the coffin.
3. Early mummification was a natural process. The desert sand was hot and dry. Dehydration (drying out) preserved the whole body. Bodies placed in the hot sand dehydrated because the hot sand absorbed the water in the body.
4. The result is a natural sand-dried mummy. preserved skin grave goods burial in sand
5. But bodies buried in the desert sands were at risk from wild animals. Munch munch… How could the ancient Egyptians protect the bodies of the dead? If animals attacked the bodies they would not be preserved and would not reach the afterlife intact.
6. So the Egyptians started to place the body in a coffin. Will this work? <ul><li>This is a skeleton (not a mummy). </li></ul><ul><li>The soft tissue has rotted away. </li></ul><ul><li>The whole body needed to be preserved for the afterlife. </li></ul>Why was the body not preserved? <ul><li>The hot dry sand could not reach the body to dry it out… </li></ul><ul><li>..so the soft tissue rotted away. </li></ul>
7. Artificial mummification The ancient Egyptians realised they needed to mummify the dead bodies artificially before they placed them in the coffin. <ul><li>they artificially dehydrated the body and the internal organs </li></ul><ul><li>they wrapped the body in linen bandages and placed it in a coffin </li></ul><ul><li>the put the organs in canopic jars… </li></ul><ul><li>and put the coffin, canopic jars and grave goods into the tomb. </li></ul><ul><li>This process was very expensive so over 95% of the population were buried in the sand and ended up like the first natural sand-dried mummy. </li></ul>
8. <ul><li>Find out more about ancient Egyptian mummies </li></ul><ul><li>Visit the main Museum website </li></ul><ul><li>www.britishmuseum.org </li></ul><ul><li>Use Explore to look at some of our mummies </li></ul><ul><li>www.britishmuseum.org/explore/introduction.aspx </li></ul><ul><li>Learn more about mummification </li></ul><ul><li>www.ancientegypt.co.uk </li></ul>