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Mummification Glossary

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afterlife - This is a life that comes after death.

The Egyptian concept of the afterlife was a complex one. While the body remained in its coffin, other aspects of the person such as the ba, ka, and akh moved within the realms of heaven and earth.

akh - This is a part of you that is deep inside and is what makes you who you are.

The actual substance of the divine soul. Unlike Ka and Ba, Akh may be removed from the body long before death. Should such a thing happen, in Christian terms, the individual would go to Hell upon dying. Without Akh, there is no chance of return or rightness.

amber - This is tree sap that gets hard over many years and is yellowish in color. It is used for making jewelry and other objects.

A hard, translucent, yellow, orange, or brownish-yellow fossil resin, used for making jewelry and other ornamental objects. Formed from hardened tree resin, amber is a valuable fossil record of ancient flora and fauna - many species have been found trapped inside amber chunks dating over hundred of millions yrs old.

amulet - This is an object that you wear as a good luck charm.

A charm, often in the form of hieroglyphs, gods or sacred animals; made of precious stones or faience. They were worn like jewelry during life, and were included within the mummy wrappings for the afterlife to ward off evil spirits or bring good luck.

ancient - Very old. From a very long time ago.

anthropogenic - This means things that are caused by humans.

anthropoid - This is the name for coffins that are made in the shape of a person.

A Greek word meaning; man-shaped. This term is used for coffins made in the shape of a human.

Click to see larger image
Image courtesy of The Egypt Archive

anubis - Anubis was a god that had the head of a jackal. A jackal looks like a dog. Anubis watched the mummification of a person and helped the dead person travel to the afterlife. He is like a travel guide who helps your soul go on a journey from this life to the next.

Hellenized Greek for Inpu, "Opener Of The Way," who is the natural instinct of the soul to seek its immortal identity. He is the jackal-headed god personified by the animal species that presided over mummification and accompanied the dead to the hereafter. He is the spiritual guide of the soul making the transition between realities. Guardian of the necropolis.

auqert - This is the name for a land of the dead.

autolysis - The cells that make up your body start to dissolve and melt when you die.

An enzymatic process of cellular self-destruction. The usual decay process following death of a living body.