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How to Mummify a Body in Ancient Egypt

Updated March 23, 2017

Ancient Egyptians mummified their relatives to preserve their bodies. They believed the spirit could live forever if their body remained intact in a permanent and safe resting place. Mummifying a body was an important process and had been perfected after years of experiments. During ancient times, there were a few important steps to ensure proper mummification.

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  1. Remove internal organs. The ancient Egyptians realised that the bacteria that lived in organs caused deterioration. These had to be removed to make sure the body would maintain. Important organs were placed in canopic jars and kept with the body.

  2. Leave the heart inside the body. The heart was considered very important and was left inside to travel with the spirit. Often, a decorative encasing that resembles a beetle would protect the heart.

  3. Remove and dispose the brain. The brain would be shrunk and taken out through the nose. Many mummies show evidence of tools used to take out this organ which was considered to be useless by the ancient Egyptians.

  4. Cleanse and purify the body. Use a special salt and resin to make the skin leather-like and keep it intact.

  5. Pack the body. To make the mummy maintain its human shape, fill it with cloth.

  6. Wrap the body with linen bandages. Start with each toe, finger and limb and work the wraps around the entire body. Often times, gold and other important objects would be wrapped up with the body so the relative could take those items to the afterlife.

  7. Complete the burial. Once the mummification process is over, the body would be placed in a decorate coffin, or even two or three decorative coffins and placed in a tomb.

  8. Tip

    The ancient Egyptians called the spirit the "Ka." Egyptian priests normally are the ones who mummify bodies.


    A man would plan his tomb when he becomes the head of the household. The size and the quality of the tomb would be determined by his wealth and status.

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Things You'll Need

  • Body
  • Canopic Jars
  • Linens
  • Cloth
  • Coffin
  • Salt
  • Resin

About the Author

Lindsey Mastis is a television news reporter and photographer in Washington, DC. She has worked in broadcast news since 2004, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

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