• Religion
  • Afterlife
  • Egyptian Mummification

  • Comparison Between Egyptian and Incan Mummies

    Criteria Egyptian Mummies Incan Mummies
    Images Egyptian Mummies Incan Mummies
    Social Status of Mummies - After death, the Pharaohs of Egypt usually were mummified and buried in elaborate tombs.
    - Nobles and officials also often received the same treatment
    - Very few common people afforded the costs of mummification.
    - Common people - No clothes or jewelry to indicate a high social status
    Reasons for Mummification - Preservation of the physical body was paramount, for without a home, the soul wandered and would be lost forever.
    1. Human mummification was related to beliefs concerning the afterlife and was undertaken to safeguard the fate of the soul.
    2. Grain Effigies were used as an offering to prevent drought and famine. Wheat and Nile mud was shaped into infant form, covered with papyrus and linen bandages soaked in resin. The effigy was placed into a cedar coffin carved in the shape of Horus, the Falcon god, to be flown to Nephri, the god of Crops, in heaven as an offering, insurance, and prayer against continued drought.
    1. The mummies of the rulers kept in Cuzco. None have ever been found, because they were destroyed during the Spanish conquest of Peru.
    2. Sacrificed individuals, which have been found on mountain tops in Peru, Chile, and Argentina. The sacrifices were children, because they were considered to be the most pure. They were being sacrificed to enter into the realm of the gods, which was considered a great honor
    Animal Mummification The sacred bulls from the Early Dynasty had their own cemetery at Saqqara.
    - Baboons, cats, birds, and crocodiles, which also had great religious significance, were sometimes mummified, especially in the Late Kingdom
    - No animals mummies were found
    Making of a Mummy - Mummies were made by embalming - this process varied according to the social status of the deceased.
    1. The corpse was washed and ritually purified
    2. Removing the deceased person's inner organs - A slit was cut into the left side of the corpse so that the embalmers could remove the intestines, the liver, the stomach and the lungs. The brain was then removed through the nose using long hooks. Since the Egyptians considered the brain unimportant, it was thrown away.
    3. The corpse cavity and each of the internal organs was embalmed using natron, which served to dry out the organs and discourage bacteria from decaying the tissues
    4. The organs were then individually wrapped using long strips of linen and placed in canopic jars. The lids of these jars were fashioned after the four sons of Horus, who were each entrusted with protecting a particular organ.
    5. The drying process took forty days, after which the natron was removed, inside and out, to reveal a dried, shrunken body.
    6. After another cleaning, mummies were ritualistically anointed with oils and perfumes to aid in preserving the mummy's skin. The head and body cavity were stuffed with packing.
    7. The mummy was then prepared for bandaging. First, the embalming cut in the side of the body was sewn up and covered with a patching depicting the protective Eye of Horus. The body was adorned with gold, jewels and protective amulets. Fingers and toes were covered with protective gold caps and individually wrapped with long, narrow strips of linen. Arms and legs were also wrapped
    8. The entire mummy was wrapped to a depth of about twenty layers. The embalmers used resin to glue the layers of wrappings together. The wrapped head was covered with a mummy mask.
    9. The last layer of bandages went on and was given one last coating of resin.
    The mummified rulers were most likely artificial mummies, although the methods the Incas are unclear.
    - Sacrificed people were mummified by the freezing temperature and the dry, windy mountain air, so they were natural mummies
    Funeral - The mummy and its canopy jars were transported by sled from the embalming tent to the tomb
    - At the site of the tomb, religious ceremonies were held to prepare the dead for the afterlife
    - unknown religious rituals
    Preservation - The best preserved mummies are those of the Pharaohs and their relatives. These mummies tended to be more carefully embalmed and protected from harm.
    - By the time of the New Kingdom the art of embalming had reached its height, and it is possible to determine fairly accurately how the great Pharaohs appeared in life, such as Amenhotep 2, and Thutmose 3, Thutmose 4, Tutankhamen, Seti 1, and Ramses 2
    - Found in excellent condition, some have their internal organs intact and in good shape.
    - Some are so well preserved that a CT-scan revealed that all of their internal organs are intact and in good shape, as if they had just died last week instead of approximately 500 years ago.
    - Compared to the Egyptian mummies, more information is available such as diet and illnesses, since their internal organs are preserved.
    Timeline - The oldest-known Egyptian mummy, dates from 3500 BC
    - Egyptians stopped making mummies in the 5th century A.D., when many Egyptians became Christians. But it's estimated that, over a 3000 year period, more than 70 million mummies were made in Egypt.
    - Mummies made during the reign of the Inca empire which lasted for 100 years, from 1438 to 1532