How do you mummify a body? A Peruvian mummy. (Thinkstock)
How do you mummify a body?
Lexile

You asked us a question. How do you mummify a body?
 
We assume it is simple curiosity driving your question. The answer depends on whom you ask.
 
The ancient Egyptians would say if you had enough wealth and status, special priests could preserve you. Forever. 

First, they pull out your brain and internal organs. They would take out everything. The only thing they didn't take out was your heart. It stays. Then they dry out your body with a kind of salt. Most of your organs would be preserved in jars. But your body would get wrapped up in strips of linen and layers of resin. Then it would be sealed in a coffin.
 
Their technique worked pretty well. But they weren't the first to go mummy. Two thousand years earlier, the Chinchorro of Chile and Peru were in the habit of skinning, dismembering and disemboweling bodies. Then they would put them back together. They put them together with sticks, straw and plant fibers. Then they'd paint the bodies.
 
More recently, nature did the dirty work for the Inca. They made sacrifices to their gods by bringing kids high up into the Andes Mountains. The kids' bodies became mummified by the dry atmosphere and extreme cold.
 
Peat bogs, glaciers and deserts can have the same effect. The oxygen-deprived acidic, cold, hot and dry conditions of these environments desiccate bodies and stop decomposition au natural.
 
So basically, take your pick. But wait. I mean, not really, though, right? 

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why did Egyptians use salt?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (13)
  • sophies-bel
    5/12/2016 - 01:59 p.m.

    They used salt to dry out the bodies so it was easier to wrap them.

  • sarahj-bel
    5/12/2016 - 01:59 p.m.

    Egyptians used salts becasue then it dried the body.

  • darianv-3-bar
    5/12/2016 - 07:45 p.m.

    Egyptians used salt in order to dry out the dead body. My evidence is, "Then they dry out your body with a kind of salt". I like this article because i like learning about ancient history.

  • gavind-kut
    5/16/2016 - 07:41 a.m.

    I thought your story was very informational. I myself never knew that people would mummify a body. And the craziest part is that they would us salt to clear out your body and put all your organs in jars and stitch you up with some wrapping.

  • camerons1-wes
    5/17/2016 - 09:06 a.m.

    The Egyptians used salt to dry the body out.

  • anijiahf-wes
    5/17/2016 - 02:36 p.m.

    they used salt to dye out the bodys after they take all of the organs out of the body exsep the hurt.

  • markm-3-bar
    5/20/2016 - 02:21 a.m.

    The Egyptians used the special type of salt to dry out the body. This salt worked very well to do this simple task in which mummifying the body needed.
    This article was cool because as kids we used to joke around with mummies and stuff but now we are learning about their actual history and what they are. I found some of the facts very interesting and I would like to know a bit more about this topic and why exactly they did it and how someone thought of it.

  • paytonn-ver
    5/20/2016 - 09:11 a.m.

    I dont get why you would do this in the first place but i guess its cool in a way

  • sydneyg-ver
    5/20/2016 - 10:12 a.m.

    they take out all of your organs except your heart and use this special salt to dry your body and then wrap you up in linen and put you in a coffin

  • yhl-hsu
    7/08/2016 - 05:23 a.m.

    Salt is a special thing.It makes water content decreases in foods.Salt will finally dry out foods.
    We take meat for example.The bacteria inside the meat don't like this kind of environment.
    They can't survive in a dry environment.So the meat will not rot.
    This is the reason why Egyptian use salt to make a mummy.

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