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Divine CreaturesAnimal Mummies in Ancient Egypt$
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Salima Ikram

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9789774248580

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774248580.001.0001

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Manufacturing Divinity: The Technology of Mummification

Manufacturing Divinity: The Technology of Mummification

(p.16) 2 Manufacturing Divinity: The Technology of Mummification
Divine Creatures

Salima Ikram

American University in Cairo Press

Work carried out on the animal mummies in the Egyptian Museum, as well as in other collections, shows that, like humans, animals were mummified in a variety of ways throughout Egyptian history. This chapter describes different methods employed for mummification. Mummification basically involves the evisceration and desiccation of the body. Desiccation is done using common salt or natron that draws out the bodily fluids leaving the dry husk. The second method of mummification involves the washing out of the intestines, and drying the body, using natron, before anointing and wrapping it. The third method of mummification uses no incision for evisceration. Rather, oil of cedar or pine was injected into the anus, the orifice plugged, and the liquid left to melt the viscera. A fourth method used on some animal mummies involved defleshing. A fifth variation on mummification involved the total immersion of live birds in vats of melted resin/pitch/bitumen.

Keywords:   animal mummies, Egyptian Museum, mummification, natron, evisceration

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