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May is mummy month 4: Making mummies

by erudite guest blogger Jolaine Incognito

What pops up when you Google “How to make a mummy?” This.

How to Make a Mummy

No wrapping your little brother in sheets, this is the real stuff modified only slightly.

Difficulty Level: average Time Required: 55 days

Here’s How:

  • Get four jars to hold the liver, lungs, intestines, and stomach. Keep the heart inside the body and discard the other internal body organs.
  • Poke a rod with a hook on it through the nasal cavity to pull out the brain. Stuff the head with tree resin and sawdust.
  • Soak the body in natron for 40 days. Then put the body on an inclining couch so the liquids and natron fall to the bottom into a pan. Discard.
  • Rub the body with olibanum oil to make the skin supple.
  • Pack the body to make it more lifelike (with spices or sawdust).
  • Use wax to seal any incisions.
  • Tear fine linen into strips 16 yards long and 2-8 inches wide.
  • Wrap the smaller extremities (toes and fingers) first.
  • Next, wrap the limbs, and finally, the torso.
  • Sing appropriate chants over each body part.
  • Secure linen with tree resin.
  • Tuck in an amulet after every few layers.

Tips:

  • You’ll need over 1000 yards of fine linen.
  • The wrapping should take 15 days.
  • Natron is a drying solution from the Nile area. It’s similar to baking soda and salt.

No, it’s not from Epicurious. It’s not even from Epidownrightstrange. It’s from http://ancienthistory.about.com/library/howto/ht_mummy.htm

Better yet, for an awesome illustrated how-to slideshow, go to http://www.ancientegypt.co.uk/mummies/story/main.html

Or, if you’d prefer to be made into a mummy …
http://www.summum.org/mummification/overview.shtml

Yes, apparently mummification continues to be a commercially viable business. Who knew?

Three mummies found in the tomb of Amenhotep II.

Next class: Filmstrips!

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About teresawilde

Author of Young Adult Paranormals, Paranormal Romance, Historical Paranormal Romance, tragical- comical-historical-pastoral, scene individable, and poem unlimited.

2 responses to “May is mummy month 4: Making mummies

  1. OMG. This is fascinating, but what a lot of work. You’d have to REALLY believe it mattered to go to all that trouble.

    I’m so glad I’m not an ancient Egyptian pharaoh. I’d sooo much rather be eaten by worms.

    Great post!

  2. jolaineincognito ⋅

    The Egyptians made mummification a lot of work, but given exactly the right climatic and burial conditions, it can occur naturally. For more on non-Egyptian mummies, I hightly recommend Heather Pringle’s book, The Mummy Congress. It’s one of the wittiest and most engaging non-fiction books I’ve ever read.

    The people at Summum will be sorry to hear that you don’t want to be mummified. If you do want to be eaten by worms, however, you will still need to take atypical steps. Conventional North Americal burial is designed to forestall natural decomposition, with chemical embalming and enclosure in impermable coffins. For a worm-friendly option, go to http://www.promessa.se/index_en.asp, or look up “natural burial” on wikipedia.

    Thanks for reading!

    – J.I.

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