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Allamistakeo Mummy has some very interesting facts to tell you about Mummification.

The word "mummy" comes from an Arabic word for a black gooey stuff.

The word "mummy" comes from the Arabic word mumiya which means bitumen. Bitumen is also called pitch and is a black tar like substance that can be found in mountains in the Middle East. It's like molasses, but it's darker and thicker. When Arabs invaded Egypt many years ago and discovered mummies, the mummies had a dark coating on them which reminded the Arabs of mumiya.

So the Arabs thought these mummies were covered with mumiya, even though mumiya was not really used. The Arabs began calling these bodies mumiya. As the years went by, mumiya would turn into the english word "mummy."

Did you know mummies have been found wearing hats?

In the Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily, mummies were found wearing hats. The natural conditions in the stone walls of the catacombs caused the bodies to be mummified. Sicily is located in Europe.

Most Japanese mummies were Buddhist priests. Some of these mummies were found wearing religious hats and robes.

In Western China, mummies were found called the Urumchi Mummies. One of the Urumchi Mummies is called the Cherchen Man. He was found buried with 10 hats.

If you broke your leg it would be wrapped up like a modern mummy.

If you’ve ever broken an arm or a leg and the doctor put it in a cast, then some of the materials used in the modern mummification processes would look familiar to you. The first thing a doctor puts on your broken limb is a cotton sleeve, which is like the first step of wrapping the modern mummy in cotton gauze. Next the doctor wraps it in fiberglass casting tape. This tape is what turns into the hard, stiff cast your friends can sign. This same kind of fiberglass casting tape is used in the modern mummification process. This is where the doctor stops in protecting your limb, but not modern mummification. Since the modern mummy must last a long, long time there is more done to protect it. You can read more about the process and see some of these steps here.

The Egyptian Book of the Dead is not really a book.

The Egyptian Book of the Dead is a collection of prayers and instructions that were written down on papyrus. Back in the days of ancient Egypt, these instructions were read to you when you died to help guide you to your next new life.

Ancient Egyptians would remove the brain, but save the heart during mummification.

The ancient Egyptians felt the brain was the home of your "thinker" also called the "intellect." This is the part of you that likes to think. The Egyptians felt the "thinker" was an obstacle for becoming wise. They had discovered a wisdom that was beyond thinking. Removing the brain was a symbol of removing obstacles to becoming wise.

The Egyptians treated the heart with great care. They considered the heart to be the home of your soul or essence. It was the place where intelligence and wisdom lives. Modern Mummification also treats the heart with great care. The people who perform Modern Mummification have discovered the wisdom that the ancient Egyptians had discovered.

By studying mummies, we learn alot about ancient people.

Archeologists (these are the people who study ancient people) are always looking for information about how ancient people lived and what kind of things were important to them. Much of this information comes from pots, buildings, statues, art, writing, clothes and other things. By studying mummies, we learn things like what ancient people ate, what kinds of diseases they had what their doctors did to make a person better, and what kind of jobs they had.

Napoleon Bonaparte who was a famous French commander, accidentally started the study of mummies.

In 1798, Napoleon invaded Egypt and took scientists with him to write down everything they could find out about the Egyptians. They wrote about buildings, statues, their religion, and even mummies. The scientists wrote a bunch of books about what they found on their journey in Egypt. Their books included information about their investigation of mummies. As people around the world started reading these books, they became so curious, they wanted to learn more about ancient Egypt.

Some people used mummies to get better when they were sick.

For almost 500 years, people in Europe used a black powder made from mumiya to help them get better when they were sick. Mumiya is a black gooey tar that forms in the ground in certain places in the world. Some people made a mistake and thought that mumiya was black stuff found on mummies. So people started to grind mummies into a powder. They would sell the powder as mumiya even though mumiya was hardly ever used on mummies. They ground up the mummies into a dust and sold it as Mummy Powder all over Europe. People used the mummy powder as medicine when they got sick. Even as late as 1972, there were books for doctors that listed mummy powder.

Egyptian mummies, wrappings, and containers were used as fuel for fires in the early 1900s.

This is not really a fact. There is a story that has been going around for a long time that mummies were used as fuel for locomotives, but this never happened. It is a rumor that started from a joke told by Mark Twain!

For thousands of years many people made a living by stealing from mummies.

The Egyptians would often place valuable things in their tomb to use in the after life or as offerings. So people would always try to break into tombs to steal these things. These kind of people are called "tomb robbers." Sometimes kings and queens had to be moved from their royal tombs and placed in regular tombs by faithful priests and servants to hide their valuables.

When tomb robbers broke into a tomb, they would break the mummies into pieces so they could take the jewelry off their bodies. This happened alot until the late 1800s and early 1900s. Scientists finally talked the Egyptian government into making it against the law to steal from a tomb. But still today, people steal ancient artifacts around the world. This is too bad because when people do that, it destroys valuable information about ancient people.

Do you know about the Mormon mummy writings?

In 1828, a famous French traveller by the name of Antonio Lebolo hired 433 men and entered the Egyptian catacombs near the ruins of the ancient city of Thebes. Out of several hundred mummies they found in the catacombs, Antonio and his men obtained eleven of the best Mummies.

Antonio died in 1832. Before his death he made a will and in his will, he gave the mummies to his nephew, Michael H. Chandler who Antonio thought was living in Ireland. The mummies were sent to Ireland, but Michael was really living in the United States of America. So Michael's friends in Ireland had the Mummies sent to New York. The mummies arrived at customs in New York around the winter or spring of 1833.

In April of 1833, Michael took possession of the Mummies. When he opened the coffins, he discovered that something was rolled up with two of the bodies. It was rolled up with the same kind of linen and saturated with the same bitumen that was used on the bodies. These rolls turned out to be two scrolls of papyrus. The scrolls had Egyptian funeral prayers written on them. Some other small pieces of papyrus were found with the other mummies. They had things written on them like astronomical calculations and epitaphs. Michael took the mummies to Philadelphie where he put them on exhibit.

Michael was curious what the Egyptian writings said and looked for someone who could translate them. He kept hearing about a person by the name of Joseph Smith who supposedly had translated similar writings before. Joseph Smith was the founder of the Mormon Church. Joseph claimed he received golden plates with hieroglyphic writings from God. Joseph translated the writings on the plates into the Book of Mormon and in 1830, he founded the Mormon Church.

Michael travelled to find Joseph and in 1835, he gave the scrolls to Joseph to translate. The language of the writings was very comprehensive. Joseph claimed the scrolls contained the writings of Abraham and Joseph of Egypt. Joseph began working on an Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar. He discovered the hieroglyphs on the papyri were similar to Hebrew and to characters on the golden plates he received from God.

Joseph bought four of the mummies from Michael. Three mummies were female and one mummy was a male. Rumors started to spread that the male mummy was a biblical patriarch and the female mummies were his plural wives, but this was not true.

After Joseph died in 1844, the scrolls were taken care of by Emma Smith. In 1856, she sold them to a man named Abel Combs. Mr. Combs sold some scrolls that later ended up in the Chicago Museum where they were destroyed in the Great Fire of 1871. Some of the other scrolls found their way to the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art where they were discovered in 1966. Other scrolls may have been lost. In 1967, the scrolls at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art were acquired by the Mormon Church.

Since their discovery, the remaining scrolls have been examined by Egyptologists. Because Joseph copied characters from the papyri and wrote out his translation next to them, scientists could determine which one of the scrolls supposedly contained the writings of Abraham. This scroll is often referred to as the small Sensen fragment. But whether it was indeed the actual scroll used by Joseph Smith for his translation is unknown.

After translating the scroll, Egyptologists found out that it was nothing more than a very common collection of funeral prayers dating back to between 100 BCE and 100 CE. The funeral prayers come from the "Book of Breathings" which is a shorter version of the Egyptian Book of the Dead. These prayers were placed in coffins or burial chambers to assist the soul of the deceased in the afterlife.

Joseph Smith's translation produced a manuscript which fills eleven printed pages and consists of five chapters with a total of 136 verses.

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