When talking about ancient Egyptian mummies, we often think of golden caskets and linen-wrapped bodies. However, there’s more to these mummies than you know. Here are some facts about them that we’re sure will surprise you.
- Mummies were used as medicine
Back in 400 AD to 19th century, mummies were apparently used as medicine. Rich people during the Middle Ages would even buy ground-up mummies believing it is medically beneficial.
- Animals were mummified too
When we think of mummies, we often imagine human bodies wrapped in linen. However, back in the day, ancient Egyptians also used to mummify animals, particularly cats, fish, crocodiles, baboons, and bulls.
- They don’t just wrap bodies in linen
Contrary to what many of us think, mummies aren’t just preserved and wrapped in linen. There is also some mummy cosmetology involved. Yes, there is such thing as that. During the mummification process, the bodies of men were colored red while women were colored yellow. Fake eyes were made of glass or stone are also usually added, as well as wigs. Henna were also used to paint the mummies’ nails.
- There are specific arm placements
Mummies are often depicted with their arms crossed over their chest. However, not all mummies have their arms crossed like that. Apparently, mummies have certain arm placements based on their social status and the era they were mummified. For instance, mummies of royal status have their arms crossed over their chest. Meanwhile, during Ramses II’s period, mummies were preserved with their arms crossed over the lower body. Predynastic mummies, on the other hand, had their hands covering their face.
- Not all mummies were mummified using the same process
The mummification process also depends on how wealthy you are back in the day. Mummification can be a bit expensive and for the lower classes who can’t afford it, they usually go for incomplete mummification. This means, their deceased loved ones are mummified without a coffin or sarcophagus. And usually, bodies were only dehydrated and some or all organs remain intact. For the very poor, on the other hand, their deceased loved ones were only wrapped in cloth and buried in the desert sand for a few days or weeks and then transferred to a cemetery.
Ancient Egypt is truly fascinating. Even the way they bury their loved ones are very interesting. This is just the tip of the iceberg, though, as there are still a lot to know about ancient Egypt’s practices.