The Seven Steps to Immortality
I After the body had been washed with wine and spices, all of the parts that might decay were removed. The embalmers first removed the brain through the nose using a long hook. Next they made a deep cut in the abdomin and took out the internal organs: the lungs, the stomach, the liver and the intestines.II The body was stuffed with bundles of strong drying salt called niton. It was then completely covered with natron and placed on a slanted couch so that any fluids that dripped out as the body was drying could be collected and buried along with it.III While the body was drying, the internal organs were also dried and preserved with natron. They were then wrapped in strips of linen, placed in tiny coffins and put in a chest divided into four compartments. Each compartment had a lid with the face of the pharaoh.IV After 40 days the body, now completely dry and shrunken, was removed from inside the body cavity and the whole body was washed inside and out with olil and fragrant spices.V The mummy’s head and body were packed with linen soaked in scented oil so that they would regain the shape they had in life. Once this was done, the mummy could be covered with necklaces, rings and bracelets made of gold and gems.VI The entire body was then covered in shrouds and bound with strips of linen unitl the mummy had returned to it’s original size. This was a complicated job and could take as long as a week. Small magical objects were placed between the layers of wrapping to protect the mummy’s spirit on its way to the afterworld.VII After the wrapping was finished, the head of the mummy was covered with a portrait mask, just to make sure that the spirit would recognize it. The masked mummy was then placed in a series of gilded wooden coffins and put into a sarcophagus.