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Little-known facts about mummies that are much more interesting than cinematic fiction
Little-known facts about mummies that are much more interesting than cinematic fiction
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Little known facts about mummies

The overwhelming majority of contemporaries have the most general idea of ​​ancient mummies. Basically, these are imposed stereotypes from science fiction films. This review contains little-known facts about mummies that even the most talented screenwriter would not think of.

Not everyone was mummified in ancient Egypt

The body of the deceased is wrapped in specially treated bandages

The religion and culture of Ancient Egypt is inextricably linked with the mummification of the dead. The bodies of people were dried in a special way, the internal organs were removed from them and treated with special oils. This method of burial was not available to everyone, because embalming was considered a long and expensive procedure. According to the beliefs of the ancient Egyptians, a deceased relative could harm his descendants if he was not buried according to the rules or the mummification was performed poorly.

Working with mummies was high-paying, but dangerous

Mummification ritual in Ancient Egypt

The Egyptians believed that there is another life in the afterlife, so the deceased must go there with his body intact. But this belief contradicted the very process of embalming, in which internal organs were removed from the body.

In order not to offend the deceased and to do their job, the mummifiers hired special people who had to cut the body and remove the entrails from there. Moreover, this must be done quickly, since the guards immediately went after them, who are obliged to detain "those who dared to disturb the peace of the dead." Those who managed to quickly cope with the task and escape from the guards alive received a generous reward.

Breathing mummies

Some were mummified with open mouths

Bodies lying in sarcophagi are not a pleasant sight in itself, and the sight of mummies with an open mouth does horror to people with a weak psyche. The fact is that the ancient Egyptians believed that if a deceased was embalmed with an open mouth, then in the afterlife it would be easy for him to breathe and absorb all sorts of delicacies.

Autopsies of mummies in front of everyone

Public dissection of mummies was popular with Europeans

If the Egyptians were in awe of the mummified bodies, then the Europeans were only interested in the research component of the ancient remains. It was very popular among the British to do public autopsies on mummies. Anyone could go to see this process.

British doctor Thomas Pedigrew has performed many public autopsies. Contemporaries noted that he unwrapped the ancient bandages with a calm face, while others fainted from what he saw.

They made paint from mummies

The mummies were used to make brown paint

After public autopsies and research, the bodies of the mummies turned out to be unnecessary. At first they were thrown away, but then they began to be sold at a symbolic price to paint manufacturers. Oddly enough it sounds, but the crushed remains of ancient bodies gave a characteristic brown hue, and therefore were very popular with artists.

Curiously, mummy paint was in demand until the 1960s. The reason for stopping the manufacture of such a dye turned out to be too trivial - the manufacturer simply ran out of mummies.

Mummy as a panacea for all diseases

The mummified baby

Several centuries ago, healers used the remains of mummies as a cure for almost all diseases. In the 17th century, a powder made from a mummy's skull was especially prized. It was believed that they can cure everything from a cold to epileptic seizures.

In 1920, the body of a 2-year-old girl, Rosalia Lombardo, was embalmed. Today it is considered the best surviving mummy that winks at tourists.

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