When we hear the word “mummies,” we immediately imagine ancient Egypt and the pyramids. Scientists undertook detailed studies of mummification only at the beginning of the twentieth century: the first open pyramids presented their highbrow robbers with a portion of poison, after which the mummies were left alone for a while.
At the moment, archaeologists have learned to thoroughly investigate Egyptian and Indian mummies – although some scientists are still afraid to deal with this subject shrouded in clouds of hoax.
Facts about real mummies
- A mummy is a human or animal body that has been subjected to a special, very unappetizing treatment. The internal organs were removed, everything was washed with soda and resin and wrapped in bandages soaked in wax.
- The ancient Egyptians began making mummies around 3400 BC, but it took them nearly eight hundred years to figure out exactly how to remove internal organs. Several gloomy techniques involve removing organs from a still-living person – the Egyptians believed that this way, the power of life was preserved in the body.
- The Egyptians mummified not only humans: jackals, cats, monkeys, horses, birds, snakes, crocodiles, hippos, and even lions. We can say that they were somewhat obsessed with mummification.
- The Egyptians did not make the first mummies. The South American Chinchorro tribe mummified the dead seven thousand years ago. Moreover, both respected members of the tribe itself and enemies were subjected to the procedure – they tried to mummify the latter in their lifetime, pouring special solutions into their bodies.
- Egyptian mythology says that the first mummified was the god Osiris himself – but, of course, his remains were never found.
- Many people mistakenly believe that only the pharaohs were mummified. Anyone with a good income could order the procedure.
- The ancient Egyptians believed: the deceased in the next life needs jewelry and slaves. Together with the pharaohs, thousands of people were immured alive.
- Of course, thieves from all over the world tried to penetrate the pyramids, trying to take possession of the fabulous treasures of the pharaohs. Some have succeeded. Most died under very strange circumstances – dozens of archaeologists shared their fate. Scientists have not yet come to an unambiguous conclusion on what could be the fault of this outcome.
- And in the Victorian era, many English rich people loved to buy mummies for their parties. They were unfolded right in front of the guests – a rather strange way to have fun.