Process of Embalming

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“When an Egyptian died the friends of the deceased went at once to the embalmer, By him they were shown a set of models, that is, wooden images painted and wrapped in imitation of the different styles of mummies prepared at the establishment. The models were divided into three classes; first, second, and third; and among these the friends selected according to their rank and means. The dead body was then delivered to the embalmers, by whom the brain was removed through the nostrils. Then an incision was made in the left side with a sharp stone. Through this opening the entire viscera were removed, and being cleansed by washing with palm wine, were covered with pounded aromatics and deposited in four urns. The cavity of the body was filled with powdered myrrh, cassia, and other fragrant substances, and the wound carefully sewn up. The whole body was then packed for seventy days in salt and carbonate of soda, at the end of which time it was washed and then wrapped in linen bands anointed on the inner surface with a certain gum which acted as glue. The mummy was finally put into a wooden case in the form of a man, and delivered to the relatives, by whom it was set upright against the wall in one of the rooms of their house."—Ridpath 1885


Ridpath, John Clark Cyclopedia of Universal History (Cincinnati, OH: The Jones Brothers Publishing CO., 1885)


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