CAIRO – 23 November 2022: It is believed that the ancient Egyptians used mummification as a way to preserve the body after death.
However, a new exhibition in England indicates that this was not the goal, and that the elaborate burial technique was a way to guide the deceased towards the afterlife.
Researchers from the Manchester Museum at the University of Manchester in England highlight the "Golden Mummies of Egypt" exhibition, which opens early 2023, and discuss this new understanding of the intended purpose of mummification.
"How exactly did this deep misconception of mummification flourish?,” The museum’s Egypt & Sudan antiquities Curator Campbell Price said to Live Science.
The Western-led idea, Price said, began with Victorian researchers who determined that the ancient Egyptians preserved their dead in a similar way to how they preserved fish.
The Egyptians used certain salts in embalming, including Natron salt. “Natron was used in temple rituals and was used for purification," explained Price.
“I think this actually has a somewhat deeper meaning, and it's mainly about turning the body into a divine statue because the dead person has been transformed," Price added when speaking about the step that included removing the internal organs.