The Egyptians - Mummies
The Ancient Egyptians believed that when a person died they made a journey to the next world. They believed that in order to live in the next world their body had to be preserved. A preserved body is called a mummy.
After death a body begins to decompose. In order to prevent a body from decomposing it is necessary to deprive the tissues of moisture and oxygen.
The earliest Egyptians buried their dead in shallow pits in the desert. The hot, dry sand quickly removed moisture from the dead body and created a natural mummy. However, the Egyptians discovered that if the body was first placed in a coffin, it would not be preserved.
In order to ensure that the body was preserved the Ancient Egyptians began to use a process called mummification. This involved embalming the body and then wrapping it in thin strips of linen.
The mummification process took around 70 days and involved the following steps:
1. The body was washed
2. A cut was made on the left side of the abdomen and the internal organs - intestines, liver, lungs, stomach, were removed. The heart, which the Ancient Egyptians believed to be the centre of emotion and intelligence, was left in the body for use in the next life.
3. A hooked instrument was used to remove the brain through the nose. The brain was not considered to be important and was thrown away.
4. The body and the internal organs were packed with natron salt for forty days to remove all moisture.
5. The dried organs were wrapped in linen and placed in canopic jars. The lid of each jar was shaped to represent one of Horus' four sons. The picture (above) taken by Nina Aldin Thune shows from left to right -
Imsety, who had a human head - guardian of the liver
Hapy, who had the head of a baboon - guardian of the lungs
Qebehsenuf, who had the head of a falcon - guardian of the intestines
Duamatef, who had the head of a jackal - guardian of the stomach
6. The body was cleaned and the dried skin rubbed with oil.
7. The body was packed with sawdust and rags and the open cuts sealed with wax
8. The body was wrapped in linen bandages. About 20 layers were used and this took 15 to 20 days.
9. A death mask was placed over the bandages
10. The bandaged body was placed in a shroud (a large sheet of cloth) which was secured with linen strips.
11. The body was then placed in a decorated mummy case or coffin.
The Middle Ages were a terrible time to get sick. There was no sanitation inside cities and hardly any in rural areas. While there might be some drainage or elementary sewers, the fact remains that people simply threw their bodily wastes out into the streets. Animal dung, dead dogs and rotting garbage of all kinds landed in the street and stayed there, trampled in and out of people’s houses.
The Catholic... Read More
The First Film about the Titanic Premiered Just 29 Days after the Vessel Sank
You may have seen James Cameron’s theatrical version of the Titanic, a movie that has accrued over $1.84 billion in total gross sales since its release in 1997. But we can confidently bet that you have never laid eyes on Saved From the Titanic, a 1912 silent motion picture starring actress and survivor of the RMS titanic, Dorothy... Read More
Most Americans are familiar with the magic of Thanksgiving. A holiday associated with family reunions, football, Black Friday sales, turkeys, pumpkin pies, pilgrims, and Indians. However, not many are aware of its somewhat grimmer origins. Typically, what we are taught in school is an idealized historical account of what actually took place in the first pilgrim harvest festivity.
The first Thanksgiving,... Read More
Theodore Roosevelt Gave a Speech with a Bullet in his Chest
Theodore Roosevelt is one of the most badass presidents to ever step foot inside the White House. He was a policeman, cowboy, boxer and soldier. He went head to head with business giants such as Carnegie, Rockefeller, and Morgan.
At the age of 50, he got into a fistfight with an army lieutenant who punched him so hard that it left him blind in... Read More
Spying became an integral part of the Cold War. Both sides went out of their way to acquire as much knowledge as they could about each other. While Hollywood has romanticized the whole image of espionage, the real thing is far from romantic. It is a dangerous cat and mouse game that typically results in torture, prison, or execution for the spy if caught by the opposing team.
During the Cold War, spies... Read More