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. Forever. 

First, they pull out your brain and internal organs, except your heart. The heart 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 before being 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. After that they would putt 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. 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. 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 (213)
  • milok-3-bar
    5/11/2016 - 07:54 p.m.

    Egyptians used salt to dry out the dead bodies. I think the process is cool of taking the organs out and putting them in jars. I think it is strange to put the organs in jars but I wonder what they do with the jars . It's interesting that they were not the first people to mummify someone and they did it even 2000 years earlier. I also think it is cool that some cultures let the environment do the process for them by freezing at low temperatures.

  • ben0424-yyca-byo
    5/11/2016 - 08:22 p.m.

    I knew how to mummify someone the Egyptian way, but I thought that they were the only people that mummified. I never knew that others mummified. I also just looked up the definition of a mummy. The mummies besides the Egyptians' don't qualify as a mummy. Maybe a new definition might be better. I would want to see some mummies in real life, because I have never saw one, and a lot of people probably haven't either.
    Critical Thinking Question Answer: Egyptians used salt because they wanted to preserve the body forever. Salt is used to preserve our food too, so it would make sense to use it on us.

  • nicholasl-2-bar
    5/11/2016 - 09:09 p.m.

    The Egyptians used salt to dry out the body. The article says that the Egyptians used a certain kind of salt to dry up the body. This will make the mummifying process easier. I liked this article because it was about mummies. I was surprised that they used salt to make the mummies.????

  • sean1116-byo
    5/11/2016 - 09:11 p.m.

    This was an interesting article because it explains how ancient people mummified dead bodies. It is extraordinary that people kept bodies and made sure they didn't decompose. It was also surprising how people mummified bodies. I didn't know people could be mummified by nature. I hope to see more weird and awesome articles like these.

  • nikr-kut
    5/11/2016 - 10:12 p.m.

    Egyptians used salt to dry out the bodies before putting them into a coffin. The Egyptian culture is different among then all, thats why there so intresting.

  • kades-kut
    5/11/2016 - 10:36 p.m.

    i think it is cool that they spend so much time to mummify a person. I also think its cool that your presume you are wealthy if you mummify your loved ones after they have passed.

  • valeriep-1-bar
    5/11/2016 - 10:48 p.m.

    Egyptians use salt to dry out your body and they wrapp your body in strips of linen and layers of resin before being put in a coffin.

  • sydneym-3-bar
    5/12/2016 - 01:15 a.m.

    Egyptians use salt to help dry out the mummy. Salt dries stuff out, and can preserve them for a long period of time. The article mentions in paragraph four, that the Egyptians would
    "Then they dry put your body with salt." Once the body is dried out, it can be preserved for long periods of time. This article caught my interest because I did not know how much effort and time was put into making mummies.

  • gabbys-nic
    5/12/2016 - 09:16 a.m.

    First the Egyptians take out all of the organs placing them in jars. Then the Egyptians used salt. They used it to dry out the body fluids inside if your body so it can be easily wrapped.

  • alexandrag-san
    5/12/2016 - 11:53 a.m.

    Egyptians used salt because the special type of salt dry up the skin. The Egyptians wanted to make skin dry so the body of the person wouldn't mold up and stain the linen.So the linen is only going to get dusty instead of dirty.As they say filthy things don't represent royalty.

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