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Forensic science fair project:
How did the Ancient Egyptians Mummify?

Science Fair Project Information
Title: How did the Ancient Egyptians Mummify?
Subject: Forensic science
Grade level: Elementary School - Grades 4-6
Academic Level: Ordinary
Project Type: Descriptive
Cost: Low
Awards: 1st place, Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair
Affiliation: Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair (VSF)
Year: 2008
Description: Main topics: mummification process; afterlife belief, Pharos, queens and gods; pyramids
Link: http://www.odec.ca/projects/2008/fust8a2/
Short Background

Mummification in Ancient Egypt

Mummification is a process. Through it, the skin and flesh of a corpse can be preserved. The process can occur either naturally, or it can be intentional. If it occurs naturally, it is the result of cold (as can be found in a glacier), acid (as can be found in a bog) or dryness.

Intentional mummification was common in ancient Egypt, especially for burying Egyptian pharaohs. It takes about 70 days to completely mummify a dead body. The first step is to push a sharp rod up the nose and into the brain. From there, the brain is broken up into tiny pieces and removed through the nose. Next, they make a hole in the body to remove all the organs except for the heart. Jars which had the heads of gods on top were used to store the organs. The hole was then filled with linen and spices and the body was left under a salt to become dry. Later, after 40 days the body was wrapped in linen bandages. Priests surrounded the body while it was being wrapped and said spells. After the mummifying process was complete, a mask was placed over the head so it can be known in the afterlife.

Mummies were ground up into a powder, called Mumia which was used as a drug.

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mummy

Source: Wikipedia (All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License and Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

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