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

You asked us, how do you mummify a body?
 
Assuming simple curiosity is 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 for all eternity. First, they pull out your brain and internal organs, except your heart, which stays, before 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 before being sealed in a coffin.
 
Their technique worked pretty well, but they weren't the first to go mummy, because two thousand years earlier, the Chinchorro of Chile and Peru were in the habit of skinning, dismembering and disemboweling bodies before putting them back together with sticks, straw and plant fibers. Then they'd paint the bodies.
 
More recently, nature did the dirty work for the Inca, who made sacrifices to their gods by bringing kids high up into the Andes Mountains to die. The kids' bodies then 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. 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 (16)
  • izaacb-edg
    6/07/2016 - 03:44 p.m.

    to absorb the water in the body to dry the body for preparation.

  • moniqueh-edg
    6/07/2016 - 04:20 p.m.

    I think its cool that they came up with so many different way to mummify bodies. I didn't really know that there were multiple ways to do it.

  • TaylorSeifert-Ste
    7/30/2016 - 11:24 p.m.

    In middle school, I remember learning about the Egyptians' method of mummification, which varies greatly from that of the Chinchorro of Chile and Peru. The Chinchorro must have had their reasons for tearing apart bodies and resembling the ways they did, although to modern times that seems a bit intense. Each culture and time period has its own way of doing things; to each its own.

  • skyf-bru
    1/09/2017 - 10:24 a.m.

    According to the article "How Do You Mummify A Body?" Egyptians used to use salt in the mummification process to dry out the bodies. Based on the text it sounds like Egyptians use the salt to dry out the bodies.Finally I know that Egyptians use the salt to preserve the bodies longer by preventing bacteria.

  • joseo-cot
    8/16/2017 - 10:20 a.m.

    Egyptians used salt to dry up the body once all the internal organs had been taken out.

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