What The Mummy Gets Wrong About Archaeology

Throughout the movie, Evelyn Carnahan acts as the resident Egyptologist though lacking formal training. Despite her incredible ability to translate hieroglyphs in real-time, she goofs up when it comes to describing how the process of mummification worked. Oops! What does she get wrong? Priests involved in mummification removed all organs during the process. What’s the problem with this? The heart.

According to Yesterday, the mummification process began with the removal of the deceased’s brains. Priests went through the nose with a long hook, pulling the gray matter out in smashed-up bits. Then, they went after other organs like the stomach, intestines, liver, and lungs. In 99% of cases, the heart remained in place. Why? Because Egyptians saw it as the center of emotions and wisdom, the veritable essence of the person. So, it stayed where it lay, ready for use by the deceased in the afterlife.

From there, mummification practitioners stuffed each cadaver with natron (a form of natural salt) before immersing the whole body in it. Placed on a slanted couch, this allowed bodily fluids to run off, and they could be captured and saved for later burial with the corpse. Of course, that’s just a quick rundown of a complicated procedure. But it brings us to the next point.

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