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FALSE MUMMIES

 
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patrick
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 1:22 pm    Post subject: FALSE MUMMIES Reply with quote

Is it true that there are no true mummies from the Old Kingdom? I've read that the bodies were basically just dehydrated and wrapped in plaster. All that usually remains is bones.
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For a thorough overview of the topic, I recommend the purchase of

Salima Ikram / Aidan Dodson : The mummy in ancient Egypt - Equipping the dead for eternity. - London : Thames & Hudson, 1998. - ISBN : 0-500-05088-0. - 352 p.

As antiquarian book it is already around 10, - available and is highly recommended.

There is already from the Predynastic Periode concrete evidence of mummification, which includes a wrapping of the limbs in bandages. The most famous is the arm of king Djer (or one of his queens?) from his tomb at Umm el Quaab in Abydos.
Probably the oldest remains of a royal mummy identified with relatively certain is that of king Meri-en-Ra (6.Dynasty). Also, this mummy was on there discovery apparently wrapped in finest royal linen ("Looted but still in good condition." - Emil and Heinrich Brugsch).

Greetings, Lutz.
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patrick
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 7:38 pm    Post subject: false mummification Reply with quote

Thanks, I'll look into that. Until I get that book, could you tell me if the predynastic was intentional or accidental mummification. What dynasty is King Djer. I knew about the development of mummification as a science during the last part of the Old Kingdom, as you stated 6 th dynasty.
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patrick
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 7:53 pm    Post subject: false mummification Reply with quote

I found an old picture of Djer's arm before it had been thrown away. All I can see is bone material. It does not appear to be a mummified arm. Have you seen the photo? It's on google images. The jewelry is Old Kingdom. I was hoping for more solid evidence.
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Horus Djer was the 3rd King of the First Dynasty. Since I think it is unlikely mummyfication occurred spontaneous at the beginning of the 1st Dynasty, I think there must be a development in Predynastic. The arm is lost but we have the descriptive writing of the discovery in

W.M. Flinders Petrie : The Royal Tombs of the Earliest Dynasties - Part II. - London : EEF, 1901. - p. 16 ff:



Petrie`s words seem clearly for me. He speaks about "the arm of a mummy in his wrappings".

Greetings, Lutz.
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patrick
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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read that. Thanks for providing it as a reference. I guess the archaeologist should have explained what he meant by an arm. What it a plater-covered bone package. Or was it a scientifically mummified corpse? In other words, does it resemble the quality of a New Kindom mummification?
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are no "scientifically mummified corpse" from Ancient Egypt and that a mummy from the 1st Dynasty could not look like a mummy from the NK seems also clear. The process of mummification has developed historically and was certainly influenced by relgious ideas, which also developed / changed. One could of course argue about it from when we can speak of a mummy. Is it enough that the body was wrapped in bandages or must he have been previously dried artificially? A removal of the internal organs can be shown for the 4th Dynasty (the canopic chest of Hetepheres, mother of Khufu).

From the description by Petrie I gather that the arm was wrapped in linen bandages. Thus we have, in my view clearly, at least one early form of non-natural mummification before us. It probably does not matter how much of this arm was retained.

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patrick
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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was under impression that the science of mummification was indeed a true science in the eyes of the Egyptians. I mean, after a million or so mummies, it has to be a science by any definition, right? Anyway, I think only true mummies should be called mummies (scientifially and intentianally embalmed). A wrapped corpse is simply a wrapped corpse. Thanks for reminding me of Heterpheres' heart. I thought her liver was there, too. But we still don't know what the body looked like. I will agree that even a perfect mummy cannot last forever. However, I don't believe there is any proof of the existence of advanced mummification prior to the 6th Dynasty. By advanced, I mean NK style.
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

patrick wrote:
I was under impression that the science of mummification was indeed a true science in the eyes of the Egyptians. ...

If, then I would prefer the term craft. But even with that I have my problems with regard to Ancient Egypt. Here it is very important not to lose sight of the religious background. Ultimately, it was a sacred act...

patrick wrote:
... Anyway, I think only true mummies should be called mummies (scientifially and intentianally embalmed). A wrapped corpse is simply a wrapped corpse. ...

This, of course, is up to you. But the official scientific definition looks a little different. For example, it includes also the bodys were without any human interference, so naturally, preserved. "Scientifially embalmed" was done in modern times, by Brier or Ikram for example.

patrick wrote:
... Thanks for reminding me of Heterpheres' heart. I thought her liver was there, too. But we still don't know what the body looked like. ... However, I don't believe there is any proof of the existence of advanced mummification prior to the 6th Dynasty. By advanced, I mean NK style.

George Reisner : The Empty Sarcophagus of the Mother of Cheops. - In: BMFA XXVI. - 1928. - pp. 76 - 88, on page 81:
Quote:
"... On May 23 we were ready to open the alabaster chest. Lt. Comm. Wheeler, Mahmud el-Meyyit, and I crawled into the low recess, and while they lifted the lid vertically I looked in the box. The interior was hollowed out in four square compartments. The compartment on my right hand which I saw first, contained a flat-topped deposit of organic matter which I at once recognized as a Canopic packet wrapped in linen, that
is, a package containing part of the viscera of the queen which had been removed in the process of mummification. In the left-hand compartment I saw a similar package, but to my astonishment covered about five centimeters deep with a clear yellowish liquid. The other two compartment also contained Canopic packages, making the traditional four, and of these one was also covered with liquid and the other partially covered. Never before had any liquid been found of this amazing antiquity. A week later Mr. Lucas drew off samples from each of the two compartments and excavasamples from each of the two compartments and analyzed them. Both were practically the same, a three per cent. solution of Egyptian natron in water. Mr. Lucas points out for comparison that sea water is a 2.5 per cent. solution of various salts in water. The pale yellow color of our fluid is due to the presence in solution of a small quantity of organic matter from the Canopic packages. ..."

The removal of the internal organs and the use of natron seems to me proved. What is still missing now to a "real mummy" by your definition?

Greetings, Lutz.
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patrick
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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like I said, I agree that circumstantial evidence suggests the occurrence of mummification. I was just hoping for a body that has been mummified in the NK style that can be dated to the OK. I appreciate your research because I never read that report. Maybe I'm nitpicking, but the reason is because I've written a book about the pyramids. Egyptologists state they were used for mummy burial and embalment procedures (in the valley temples). I can't find any evidence to support that. However, I am open to any data. Thank you. Did you see my post about the Abusir Pyramid Archives? Perhaps you may know where I can get a copy online.
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

patrick wrote:
... I was just hoping for a body that has been mummified in the NK style that can be dated to the OK. ...

I know the movies and tv-series "Stargate", but I do not know something like "Time Travel Machine" in connection with Ancient Egypt... Laughing Wink

patrick wrote:
... Did you see my post about the Abusir Pyramid Archives? Perhaps you may know where I can get a copy online.

There I have already answered...

Greetings, Lutz.
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