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kmt_sesh

Let's talk mummies

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kmt_sesh

Almost a year ago I started a thread called "Let's talk history." It had a very good run and still pops up on occasion.

So now I'm being selfish and trying something similar, and admittedly more specific. I'd like to start up discussions about mummies. I've spent considerable time and resources researching ancient Egyptian mummies, and work around them at two different museums in Chicago. So I'd love to talk about mummies from ancient Egypt.

But I know they're hardly the only mummified human remains in the world, so any and all types of mummies might be discussed.

Have questions? Please ask. Have interesting information to relate? Please share.

I will avoid my usual tendency to drone on and bury you all with details, and will turn the discussion over to those who might be interested.

Let's talk mummies!

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DebDandelion

Good morning (my side). Always been fascinated by mummies (the dead kind not the movie kind) . but the movies did however make me wonder if certain rituals were done for certain dead ? Sort off based on your social status?

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kmt_sesh
2 minutes ago, DebDandelion said:

Good morning (my side). Always been fascinated by mummies (the dead kind not the movie kind) . but the movies did however make me wonder if certain rituals were done for certain dead ? Sort off based on your social status?

Movies are mostly nonsense, but a lot of fun. I love the Brendan Fraser movies.

I'm talking Egypt here. That's my specialty, so I can't speak across the board. But through most of pharaonic history, if you were mummified, chances were you were high on the social spectrum. It was generally only middle class and above who were mummified. The actual practical processes to mummify the deceased was pretty much the same across the board, if we're talking a high-status mummification (there were cheaper ways to do it). Many of the religious aspects were, too. Where it varied was, again, what the family could afford. So you might have a middle class individual who was wrapped pretty simply in several layers and without amulets. while a wealthy person might be elaborately wrapped in several hundred feet of linen and be provided a few amulets.

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DebDandelion

Thanks for info!

Stupid q...if kings were buried in pyramids where were the others buried?

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Aquila King
45 minutes ago, kmt_sesh said:

Have questions? Please ask.

Would duct tape preserve mummies even better?

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kmt_sesh
10 minutes ago, DebDandelion said:

Thanks for info!

Stupid q...if kings were buried in pyramids where were the others buried?

Nobles and the upper class were buried in their own free-standing or cliff-cut tombs in that early period (mastaba tombs were especially common in Egypt in the Old Kingdom). If we're talking pyramids, we're primarily talking the Old Kingdom. Mummification wasn't very common in the early periods, so most private people were just buried in the desert floor, whether wrapped or not.

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kmt_sesh
9 minutes ago, Aquila King said:

Would duct tape preserve mummies even better?

Aquila? You threw me. I thought we were back in the DA thread.

LOL I'm sure the Egyptians would've loved duct tape. It wasn't really the wrapping that did the mummification, but the wrapping helped to hold the body together. So duct ta[e would've been great!

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DebDandelion

Would it be off topic to ask old kingdom? 

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DebDandelion
2 minutes ago, kmt_sesh said:

Aquila? You threw me. I thought we were back in the DA thread.

LOL I'm sure the Egyptians would've loved duct tape. It wasn't really the wrapping that did the mummification, but the wrapping helped to hold the body together. So duct ta[e would've been great!

Would the glue of the ductape not influence decomp? I ponder 

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kmt_sesh
5 minutes ago, DebDandelion said:

Would it be off topic to ask old kingdom? 

I don't mind.

3 minutes ago, DebDandelion said:

Would the glue of the ductape not influence decomp? I ponder 

I doubt it would, considering a lot of mummies were already covered in thick layers of very sticky, viscous pine resin. 

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Carnoferox

Is this discussion limited to human mummies? Because I know of some damn fine dinosaur mummies...

Borealopelta.jpg

Edited by Carnoferox
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DebDandelion
1 hour ago, DebDandelion said:

Would it be off topic to ask old kingdom? 

Explain old kingdom plz? 

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Katniss

1. Have there been any mummies found in the United States?

2. What is the oldest mummy in the world?

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Lysippos
51 minutes ago, Ford Fairlaine said:

1. Have there been any mummies found in the United States?

2. What is the oldest mummy in the world?

1. Yes, look up Spirit cave man as one example. 

2. Spirit cave man

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Lysippos
3 hours ago, DebDandelion said:

Would the glue of the ductape not influence decomp? I ponder 

If I were to speculate, I would believe it would actually have been beneficial given it could assist in creating an anaerobic environment

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Lysippos
8 hours ago, kmt_sesh said:

Almost a year ago I started a thread called "Let's talk history." It had a very good run and still pops up on occasion.

So now I'm being selfish and trying something similar, and admittedly more specific. I'd like to start up discussions about mummies. I've spent considerable time and resources researching ancient Egyptian mummies, and work around them at two different museums in Chicago. So I'd love to talk about mummies from ancient Egypt.

But I know they're hardly the only mummified human remains in the world, so any and all types of mummies might be discussed.

Have questions? Please ask. Have interesting information to relate? Please share.

I will avoid my usual tendency to drone on and bury you all with details, and will turn the discussion over to those who might be interested.

Let's talk mummies!

By any chance do you know a Marc Walton?

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DebDandelion
4 hours ago, Lysippos said:

If I were to speculate, I would believe it would actually have been beneficial given it could assist in creating an anaerobic environment

Interesting!

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Katniss
9 hours ago, Lysippos said:

1. Yes, look up Spirit cave man as one example. 

2. Spirit cave man

Thank you. Wow! That's incredible a mummy could stay mummified for 10,600 years. Very interesting.

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Trelane

What is the proposed genesis of mummification in AE? Was the process always intended to preserve/prepare only the rich, or did it evolve that way socially?

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kmt_sesh
15 minutes ago, Trelane said:

What is the proposed genesis of mummification in AE? Was the process always intended to preserve/prepare only the rich, or did it evolve that way socially?

It seems to have evolved that way socially. Originally people were just placed in pits in the desert floor, sometimes wrapped in skins and mats and sometimes not. The arid environment often dried out the bodies naturally.

Eventually the elite started to construct tombs and coffins, which separated the body from the environment and led to complete decay. This led to artificial means to preserve the body, and originally only the wealthy could afford this time and expense.

But why do it at all? We might never know and can only theorize. The farther back we go, the earlier we see attempts at preserving bodies in the Nile Valley. But those prehistoric people whose bodies were naturally preserved, may have inspired the genesis of mummification. Perhaps a grave robber or jackal had come along in the night and exposed a burial. People would see the recognizable human form of the body and perhaps took to believing that it was important to preserve the corporeal form for the afterlife. That's the prevailing theory, but again, we might never know the specifics.

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cormac mac airt

Who is the oldest, period wise, Egyptian Pharaoh whose mummy has been found and who is the youngest? 

cormac

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Trelane
3 minutes ago, kmt_sesh said:

It seems to have evolved that way socially. Originally people were just placed in pits in the desert floor, sometimes wrapped in skins and mats and sometimes not. The arid environment often dried out the bodies naturally.

Eventually the elite started to construct tombs and coffins, which separated the body from the environment and led to complete decay. This led to artificial means to preserve the body, and originally only the wealthy could afford this time and expense.

But why do it at all? We might never know and can only theorize. The farther back we go, the earlier we see attempts at preserving bodies in the Nile Valley. But those prehistoric people whose bodies were naturally preserved, may have inspired the genesis of mummification. Perhaps a grave robber or jackal had come along in the night and exposed a burial. People would see the recognizable human form of the body and perhaps took to believing that it was important to preserve the corporeal form for the afterlife. That's the prevailing theory, but again, we might never know the specifics.

Thank you for taking the time to answer. I am just awestruck by the complexity of it all. It is all so amazing, the dynamics of the entire AE culture.

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kmt_sesh
16 hours ago, DebDandelion said:

Explain old kingdom plz? 

Sorry, almost missed this. Historians have divided ancient Egypt into chunks of time to make it easier to discuss events and identify certain periods. Here's a good chart on the timeline of ancient Egypt:

https://www.historyonthenet.com/timeline-ancient-egypt/

So the Old Kingdom is one of the earliest periods of their history; according to the chart in the link, from 2575 BCE to 2150 BCE. This is the Early Bronze Age. In Egypt it's also called the Pyramid Age because that's when the really big pyramids were made, although smaller and less well-made pyramids were still being erected for quite some time after that.

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