How mummies are made
How mummies are made Egyptian mummy and its X-ray at the National Museum of Natural History (Chip Clark / Smithsonian)
How mummies are made
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The most familiar mummies are the Egyptians. Many were buried in elaborate tombs and surrounded with treasures. It was believed those could escort them into the afterlife.

But not all mummies were Egyptian. Or even of the ruling class.

Mummies have been found around the world, in circumstances ranging from honored leaders to unfortunate victims.

What makes a mummy is its resistance to natural decay. Mummies are bodies. They have been preserved for long periods of time. Some were created because people prepared them to last. Others did not deteriorate because natural conditions caused accidental preservation.

Each mummy is a time capsule. It speaks to us from the past.

Anthropologists who study mummies gather data from the skeleton as well as the clothing, jewelry, coffin or other accessories. These artifacts provided might reveal how the person lived and died.

These days, scientists try to peer inside mummies without destroying the linen strips or other materials wrapping the body or the body itself. X-rays are used to see the skeletal structure. CT Scans can show soft tissues in three dimensions.

Find out more about how scientists unravel the mysteries of mummies by joining us on Thursday, May 7, 2015, for a "Smithsonian Science How" live webcast. The title is Mummy Science Natural and Cultural Preserved Remains.

It will air at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. EDT on the Q?rius website.

Dr. David Hunt from the Physical Anthropology Division at the National Museum of Natural History will appear live to discuss and answer questions.

You can get teaching resources to support your webcast experience.

Critical thinking challenge: Which parts of a mummy speak to us from the past?


Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween56/how-mummies-are-made/

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COMMENTS (165)
  • adolfoa-McC
    5/01/2015 - 12:54 p.m.

    I think mummies are so cool and i would like to unwrap and touch the mummies when they are unwrap. Also i would like to go to a museum and look at the skeleton.

  • carlosm-McC
    5/01/2015 - 12:54 p.m.

    I think it is the skull that speaks for its self.If the mummy die by a head injury you'll see that,that's how it die.The spine is also one of them cause if the mummy got bite or cracked its back it will show on the spine.

  • Damikus123
    5/01/2015 - 12:55 p.m.

    This is a very neat way to describe the mummification procedures. Even though I already learned the process, I enjoyed this article alot cause I love to learn about many things in ancient times

  • madisonr-McC
    5/01/2015 - 12:57 p.m.

    mummies are a precious piece of information ( especially Egyptian mummies) because we Americans are obsessed with Egyptian mummies . They are the only ancient civilization that left enough pieces of the puzzle for us to put them together easily yet were are still find more pieces of the puzzle.

  • josev-McC
    5/01/2015 - 12:57 p.m.

    Is good that there are finding more mummies because that means that we can learn more about Egypt and its culture and how they live on egypt

  • priscillav-McC
    5/01/2015 - 12:58 p.m.

    Everything that I read is cool and also the video but, I never know that they buried the mummies with treasure.That's so cool. I always wounder that why do they, the people, wrap the mummies. If I needed to study about anything, I'll pick the mummies to study.

  • priscillav-McC
    5/01/2015 - 12:58 p.m.

    Everything that I read is cool and also the video but, I never know that they buried the mummies with treasure.That's so cool. I always wounder that why do they, the people, wrap the mummies. If I needed to study about anything, I'll pick the mummies to study.

  • dillons-McC
    5/01/2015 - 12:59 p.m.

    The whole mummy speaks to us from the past because the coffin, the tomb, and the mummy itself tell us about the past. The tomb can tell us what period of time and how old the mummy is. The coffin also tells us when the mummy was mummified and buried. The mummy itself yet again tells us how old the mummy is, but may also tell the story of how that person or animal died.

  • eduardor-McC
    5/01/2015 - 01:00 p.m.

    Mostly all the pieces of mummy speak to us because they are very important steps to making a mummy and the skin and bones are the most important to study how they made mummies, by using the x-ray and studying at the techniques they mummified the people.

  • rudya-McC
    5/01/2015 - 01:00 p.m.

    The parts of the mummies that speak to us is the skeleton, clothing, jewelry, coffin, and many more other accessories around the body or inside the body.

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