Introduction to Mummification

Blessed with a long , rich history as well as countless marvels and wonders , the Land of the Pharaohs always reveals bewildering mysteries . Huge volumes of research and studies have been dedicated to the exploration of the mysterious process of mummification the Ancient Egyptians mastered . Examining the dried human remains , along with the distinct architecture , religious beliefs , as well as the funerary arts and crafts , people can actually draw a vivid image for the Ancient Egyptian civilization before their eyes .
Depending on the realization that every thing after death came to life again , the Ancient Egyptians hold the belief that there is a life after death: they realized the sun , after the dusk , rose again and the Nile after dryness , flooded again . Based on these beliefs , they held to the idea that a new life began after a person died , a supposition that made the idea of mummification of dead bodies inevitable . Notably , mummification symbolizes the fear of the Ancient Egyptians had of death and answers their eager desire for immortality . Such elaborate burial practices of Ancient Egyptians suggest that the Egyptians began early to make plans for their death because of their great love of life .
A mummy is the preserved creature's body "animal or human" , which may be preserved naturally or by artificial means . The oldest Egyptians buried their dead in small pits with some offerings into the hot , dry desert , but the heat soon dehydrated the corpse . Later on , the Egyptians started fashioning coffins for the deceased . However , the body decayed as it was protected from the desert heat coffins . This made the Egyptians get somewhat troubled , as they believed that without a body , the deceased could not resurrect again .
Ancient Egyptians believed that there were six important aspects that made up a human being: the physical body , shadow , name , Ka (spirit) , Ba (personality) , and the Akh (immortality) . Each one of these elements played an important role in the well being of an individual and therefore was necessary to achieve rebirth into the afterlife . Without a physical body , there was no shadow , no name , no Ka , Ba , or Akh . By mummification , the Egyptians believed they were assuring themselves a successful rebirth into the afterlife . That is , mummification was used to preserve the body for the purpose of keeping the soul , or “ka” , intact for the journey through the afterlife .
Importantly mummification was not the same as dissection . The organs were removed for safe keeping not for further examination . The priests who removed the organs were able to learn much about the placement of the organs , but could not develop understanding of each their functions . The Egyptians believed that the heart controlled the body (which of course is wrong as it is the brain , but since they were unable to dissect living creatures , they could not discover this) .

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