Anubis attending the embalming
The mummification process involves two stages: First, the embalming of the body and then the wrapping and burial of the body.
Stage One Embalming:
1. The body is first taken to a "tent of purification" called an ibu. There, your body will be washed and scented with perfumes and oils. A priest with a mask of Anubis will act as chief embalmer. Anubis is the god of embalming.
2. Your purified body now goes to the "place of embalming" called the wabet. There, most of your internal organs are removed. The lungs, liver, stomach and intestines are removed through a long cut along the left side of your body. The heart remains with your body to help you through the afterlife. It is the center of feelings and intelligence. Your brain is removed via a hooked instrument through the nose. Ouch. Thank goodness you are a corpse.
3. The four organs: lungs, liver, stomach and intestines are stored in canopic jars. Each jar is protected by one of the four sons of Horus, god of the sky. These jars will be placed very close to you when you are safely in your tomb.
Your lungs are protected by Hapy: head of a baboon.
Your liver is protected by Imsety: head of a human.
Your stomach is protected by Duamutef: head of a jackal.
Your intestines are protected by Qebehsenuef: head of a falcon.
4. Your body's organs removed, it is now washed out with palm wine and is now stuffed and covered with natron salts for forty days to dry it out.
5. After forty days, your body will be completely dried out. Your skin is rubbed with oils to make it more soft. This is done so that the skin is pliable during the stuffing process. The body is stuffed with sawdust, linens and leaves. Once stuffed, it is rubbed with fragrant oils. Time for wrapping!
Stage Two Wrapping and Burial:
1. It is now time to be wrapped. This will take about 15 days to complete. Importantly, you will need amulets, or protection charms, which are tucked into the bandages.
2. The bandagers usually start with the head and neck. Then they work their way down the body. Fingers and toes are wrapped individually. The arms and legs are wrapped separately. At every layer of wrapping, a resin is painted on to act as a glue.
3. After fully wrapped, the body is further wrapped in two shrouds and secured.
4. A portrait mask (think King Tut) is then placed over your wrapped head. It should resemble you!
5. You are then placed within a wooden coffin. This is then placed within a second coffin. If you are very wealthy, you can then have it placed within a third coffin!
The coffins are painted with pictures of gods and spells of protection.
6. Lastly, these nest of coffins are placed within a tomb inside a large stone coffin called a sarcophagus. Very protected!!
7. After 70 days, a funeral is held. A priest leads a procession of mourners and bearers carrying objects and food intended to be placed with in our tomb. Your tomb will act as your final resting place as well as a place for your family to visit and bring food for you to eat in the afterlife. Enjoy!
Anubis weighing the heart against the feather of truth