The Ancient Egyptian Ritual of ๐ฆ๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ฆ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ข๐œ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง: Ready for the ๐™ด๐š๐šŽ๐š›๐š—๐šŠ๐š• Voyage

The ๐˜ฎ๐˜ถ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ process in ancient Egypt was a complex and intricate procedure that aimed to preserve the body of the deceased for the afterlife. The process typically involved several steps and could take up to 70 days to complete. Here is a general overview of the ๐˜ฎ๐˜ถ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ process:

The body of the deceased was taken to a special tent known as an “ibu” or “place of purification.” There, it was cleansed and purified using water from the Nile and various aromatic substances

The internal organs, except for the heart, were removed as they were believed to decay rapidly. The brain was often discarded by using hooks inserted through the nostrils to pull it out, while the other organs were extracted through an incision made in the left side of the body.

The body was covered in natron, a type of salt, to help dry out the tissues and prevent decay. Natron was also packed inside the body cavities to aid in the drying process.

The body was then wrapped in linen bandages. Often, the wrapping process involved layers of linen, with protective amulets placed between the layers. The wrapping was performed by specialized embalmers known as “sewet.”

Funerary Mask and Coffin: A funerary mask, usually made of gold or gilded wood, was placed over the face of the deceased. The body was then laid in a wooden coffin, often decorated with intricate artwork and hieroglyphic inscriptions.

Burial: The mummified body, along with the coffin and funerary equipment, was placed in a tomb or burial chamber. The tombs varied in size and grandeur, depending on the social status and wealth of the deceased.


In ancient Egypt, mummies were preserved bodies for the return of the soul so that the ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ could have a smooth afterlife experience. The idea came to ancient Egyptians when they saw ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ bodies naturally preserved in hot sand. Thus, mummifying became the way to deal with ๐’น๐‘’๐’ถ๐’น.

What is a Mummy?

The word โ€˜mummyโ€™ is derived from the Arabic word mรผmiya, meaning โ€˜bitumenโ€™ or โ€˜something made of bitumenโ€™. Bitumen is a black tarry substance that was mistakenly believed to have been used for ๐˜ฎ๐˜ถ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ. The Egyptian word for a mummy was sah, meaning โ€˜nobilityโ€™ or โ€˜dignityโ€™.

When an Egyptian died, the ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ body was transferred to the embalmers on the west bank of Nile. The West was where the sun would set and the supposed home of the ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ. How exactly did the process go?

The Greek Story of the Egyptian Process

The best source describing the
Egyptian ๐˜ฎ๐˜ถ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ process is the historical writings of Herodotus. He was
a Greek historian who adored Egypt and wrote the 1000-year-old processes he
witnessed in the fifth century B.C. Based on his writings, not all people were
mummified the same way since the costs differed. The perfect way was the 80-day

The Perfect Way to ๐’น๐’พ๐‘’

The ideal ๐˜ฎ๐˜ถ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ process took 80 days. The internal organs were removed through an incision on the side, while the liver, lungs, intestines, and the stomach were each placed in a jar called โ€˜Canopicโ€™. Next, the brain was drawn out through the nostrils by a long needle. Then the interior of the body was cleansed, and the incision was sewed. All this happened in the first 10 days after ๐’น๐‘’๐’ถ๐’น. In the remaining 70 days, the body would lie in natron powder so that the humidity was all absorbed, but the skin was not blackened and hardened. Finally, the body was washed and wrapped in linen bandages.

The Canopic jars were used to hold the organs and keep them safe for the afterlife. (Image: eldeiv/Shutterstock)


The Cheap Way of Dying

If the family could not afford the full process, the embalmers would inject oil into the body through the anus. After a while, the oil would be released, and the dissolved internal organs would flow out. Hence, the poor had to start the afterlife without organs.

Regardless of the process, the mummy
was then placed in a wooden or cartonnage coffin. The relatives would pick up
the coffin and take it to the tomb.

Learn more about taking on the other side of history.

The Ancient Egyptian Funeral

The coffin would be transferred to the tomb on a sled pulled by bulls. The mourners would follow, lamenting loudly both to show grief and to banish the evil spirits. Behind the mourners, there would be a shrine with the Canopic jars, for those who had them. Finally, there were the servants carrying all the items required for life after ๐’น๐‘’๐’ถ๐’น: pottery, toiletries, shabtis, furniture, and little models.

Egyptians believed everything in the
tomb, including the paintings, would become real in the afterlife. For example,
two small ship models were also put in the tomb to help the ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ person travel
up and down the underworld Nile.

The mummy was then put in a standing position, and a priest performed the โ€˜opening of the mouthโ€™: touching the face of the mummy with an adze, which was a tool for sharpening wood, while spells and incantations were being uttered.

Learn more about living in Mesopotamia.

The Last Step

A calf was sacrificed, and its still-beating heart was removed and presented to the mummy. After this, the tomb was closed for the person to come back to life. If the family was wealthy, they had a separate chapel next to the burial place, where they could visit and bring offerings.

๐˜ฎ๐˜ถ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ had several steps and could take as long as 80 days to complete. (Image: klyaksun/Shutterstock)


There were two entities for the soul: Ka, the selfhood that receives the food and drinks, and Ba, the soul that left the body upon ๐’น๐‘’๐’ถ๐’น. Ba visited the upper world during the day and went back to the body at night.

The ๐˜ฎ๐˜ถ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ process in ancient Egypt was to save both the body and soul, so the afterlife would be pleasant to live.

Common Questions about the ๐˜ฎ๐˜ถ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ Process in Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egyptians believed the body wouldt physically come back to life, and the soul would return to it to continue living in the underworld. The key to having a smooth reunification was the ancient Egyptian ๐˜ฎ๐˜ถ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ process that tried to preserve all the important parts, including the intestines.

The natural mummies of Egypt were preserved in hot sand. However, in the ๐˜ฎ๐˜ถ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ process, the Egyptians used natron powder to take out all the humidity in the body without darkening and hardening the skin. The final step was to wash and wrap the body in linen bandages.

The ๐˜ฎ๐˜ถ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ process in ancient Egypt was a vital but expensive one. All the ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ were mummified, but the length of the process and the quality depended on how much the family of the ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ could pay.

King Tutankhamun or King Tut, a 30,000-year-old mummy, is the most famous mummy. This Egyptian pharaoh ๐’น๐’พ๐‘’๐’น at a very young age, after a reign of almost 10 years. The ๐˜ฎ๐˜ถ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ process common in ancient Egypt was also applied for this great pharaoh but the cause of ๐’น๐‘’๐’ถ๐’น remains unknown.

It’s important to note that the ๐˜ฎ๐˜ถ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ process evolved over time, and different periods in ancient Egyptian history had variations in techniques and rituals. The process described here represents a general outline of the most common practices observed during the peak of ancient Egyptian civilization.

The ๐˜ฎ๐˜ถ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ process was carried out with the belief that the preserved body would provide a vessel for the deceased person’s ba (soul) to reunite with the ka (life force) in the afterlife. It was an essential part of the religious and cultural practices in ancient Egypt, demonstrating the significance placed on the journey to the afterlife.

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