Ancient Egypt The story of mummification. Ancient Egyptian mummification developed over time. The first burials in the hot desert sands led to natural mummification of the whole body. Later, placing the body in a coffin meant that only the skeleton survived.
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The story of mummification
The first burials in the hot desert sands led to natural mummification of the whole body.
Later, placing the body in a coffin meant that only the skeleton survived.
Then the Egyptians learned how to artificially mummify the body before putting it in the coffin.
Bodies placed in the hot sand dehydrated because the hot sand absorbed the water in the body.
The desert sand was hot and dry.
Dehydration (drying out) preserved the whole body.
burial in sand
If animals attacked the bodies they would not be preserved and would not reach the afterlife intact.
How could the ancient Egyptians protect the bodies of the dead?
Will this work?
Why was the body not preserved?
The ancient Egyptians realised they needed to mummify the dead bodies artificially before they placed them in the coffin.
Visit the main Museum website
Use Explore to look at some of our mummies
Learn more about mummification