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Word Count: 439
The process of mummification the form of embalming practiced by the ancient Egyptians was a very long process The level of mummification depended on what one could afford The most fully developed form involved three basic steps First all of the organs except for the heart were removed Egyptians believed the heart was the center of intelligence and wisdom and was left in so the soul would carry on the knowledge of the deceased The stomach liver lungs and intestines were dried in natron and placed in Canopic jars Named after the four sons of Horus a man who according to mythology became a bird to avenge his fathers death they were believed to protect the organ inside The other organs were not considered important and were thrown away The brain was considered a nuisance Egyptians felt it had no function whatsoever so they dealt with it accordingly during the embalming process The embalmer would jam a long bronze rod up the nose and through the ethmoid bone in the cranium After a few good pokes the brain was removed the head was usually stuffed with tree resin and a packing material such as sawdust Next after removing the organs the body was ready to dry Natron a baking soda and salt mixture found naturally near the Nile was used to dry out the body This was by no means an easy task because humans are 70 percent water After 40 days the body would be dry enough that decomposition would cease Finally once dried the body was almost ready to be wrapped The entire body was first rubbed with olibanum oil This was done to make the skin more supple so limbs could be moved while wrapping The body cavity was then packed with spices linen or sawdust to make it more lifelike Any incisions were sealed with wax or metal plates Fake eyes were often placed in the empty sockets
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