Mummification preserves the body in the most life-like state possible. Mummification, or the embalming of a dead body, was practiced throughout most of ancient Egyptian history. Everyone, rich or poor, received some kind of embalming process after death. 

Download this file

  • Idea for Use in the Classroom

    Ask the class what they think of when they hear the word “mummy” or “mummification." Have a brief discussion of how mummies and the practice of mummification are portrayed and viewed in modern society. Introduce the infographic and have a volunteer read the overview. As a class, brainstorm reasons why ancient Egyptians may have been concerned with preserving the deceased in a life-like state. Students can perform outside research to learn more about the general purpose of mummification before exploring more about the process.

    Next, read through the remainder of the infographic. Break students into small groups and have them determine how each step in the process of mummification supports the overall purpose of mummification. Encourage students to cite specific evidence from the infographic and their research to support their claims. Once students have become familiar with the process, have them consider what scientific skills, technology, and knowledge were needed to carry out mummification based on the infographic. 

    Finally, have each group use the infographic to identify further areas of research. For example, groups could investigate the availability of mummification for different classes of society or delve further into the specific techniques and skills needed to practice mummification (have students who do this look for the “recipes” used for mummification). After students conduct their research, have them present their findings to the class. Conclude by discussing what the process of mummification implies about ancient Egyptian attitudes toward the afterlife.

  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    afterlife Noun

    existence following death.

    ancient Egypt Noun

    civilization in northeastern Africa, lasting from 3200 BCE to about 400 CE.

    Egyptology Noun

    study of ancient Egyptian history, language, religion, and material culture.

    mummy Noun

    corpse of a person or animal that has been preserved by natural environmental conditions or human techniques.

    sarcophagus Noun

    stone coffin, usually decorated with inscriptions.

    Encyclopedic Entry: Sarcophagus