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)
  • alex0509-byo
    7/11/2016 - 03:36 p.m.

    They use salt because it dry's out your skin. They also use salt so it is easier to wrap them.

  • oattra-eri
    8/11/2016 - 10:44 a.m.

    The Egyptians used salt to dry out the body before wrapping it with strips of linen and resin.

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