Egyptian Mummification Secrets Revealed Following Discovery Of Embalming Workshop | Eastern North Carolina Now

    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Ben Whitehead.

    Some of the unknowns regarding the concoctions and processes used by ancient Egyptian embalmers are now more clear after researchers studied the contents of a previously discovered embalming workshop, according to a study published in Nature Wednesday.

    An archeologist made the rare discovery in 2016: an embalming workshop where Egyptians prepared their dead. The chamber dates to the 26th dynasty, between 664 and 525 BC. Inside the workshop, which is located near the pyramid of King Unas, were 121 beakers and bowls that contained residue that researchers have now been able to identify.

    "I was fascinated with this chemical knowledge of ancient Egyptians," Phillip Stockhammer, a professor of prehistoric archeology at the Max Planck Institute and senior author of the study, said. "They knew immediately they needed antibacterial, antifungal substances to keep the skin preserved, and this is without having any microbiology background."

    Stockhammer notes that researchers have largely had to make their best guesses on what the Egyptians used in the mummification process, until now. Much of the pottery in the workshop was labeled with instructions and ingredients, including "to put on his head" and "bandage or embalm with it." From the find, researchers chose 22 bowls and nine beakers with the most legible labels to examine through an "organic residue analysis."

    Some of the materials identified include animal fats, beeswax, resin from pistachio trees, and cedar, cypress, and juniper oils. Researchers discovered that some of the mixtures of contents had been carefully distilled or heated. Juniper and cypress in the form of oil or tar were most common, identified in 21 of the 31 vessels. The second most common material was cedar oil or tar, found in 19 of the vessels, according to the study. A bowl that contained animal fat and elemi, which hails from the canarium tree, was intended to "make his odor pleasant," while other materials reportedly had microbial properties.

    The majority of the ingredients used came from lands far away from Egypt, and the study states that this meant there was "an almost global network" of trade with the Egyptians, helping further explain the exchange of goods and the trade networks used during that time. The study explains that while trade networks in the Mediterranean basin were already well known, "the Saqqara workshop provides additional evidence for long-distance trade networks via the vivid Indo-Mediterranean trade routes, which seem to have existed since the 2nd millennium BC."

    While scientists have been able to study and examine various materials used by embalmers through historical texts and mummies in the past, this is reportedly the first time they've had the opportunity to look at the materials found in the place where the mummification process occurred. With that information, actually linking the previously known information on the embalming process had been the difficult part, according to Nature. The new breakthrough allows researchers to match contents with labels and intended use.

    "You might have the name of something, but you don't know what the hell it is, except the hieroglyphics suggesting it's an oil or a resin," Salim Ikram, a mummy specialist at American University in Cairo, told the journal "This is the first time you've got jars with labels of the contents."
Go Back


Latest State and Federal

President Joe Biden patted himself on the back Monday morning as multiple banks have collapsed in recent days, claiming that the “quick action” of his administration has stabilized the banking industry.
Rates of violent crime and other behavioral problems spiked in recent months as students returned to North Carolina public school classrooms after government-forced closures and remote learning schedules.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Sunday that there would be no bailout for the collapsed Silicon Valley Bank.
NBC News host Chuck Todd complained over the weekend that Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law “Victims of Communism Day” which teaches students in the state the far-left ideology’s murderous history.
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued an order asking for more information in the Moore v. Harper redistricting case. Justices want to know how a rehearing in a related N.C. Supreme Court case this month affects the legal landscape.
Federal regulators announced over the weekend that they will fully back all depositors of Silicon Valley Bank, guaranteeing that they are paid back in full after the bank collapsed last week.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner (R-OH) said that communist China is using TikTok to make its way into U.S. data systems as calls grow for the federal government to ban the app.
Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) brought up left-wing riots during an interview over the weekend when asked about the recent media coverage surrounding the January 6 riot following the release of thousands of hours of video footage from the incident.
General Assembly leaders agreed to a bottom-line budget number last week, kicking off the biennium budget season. Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) announced that General Fund spending would increase by 6.5% in the first year


House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner (R-OH) slammed Dr. Anthony Fauci, former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, over the weekend for making statements about the origins of COVID that are not supported by the findings of the U.S. intelligence
Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) said during an interview on Sunday that when he approached President Joe Biden about using the U.S. military to take out Mexican drug cartels, the president rebuffed him and said that it was a “bad idea.”
In a press conference Thursday, Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore announced that an agreement has been reached between the chambers to expand the federal Medicaid entitlement program in North Carolina.
The U.S. Navy announced this week that it would be renaming a ship named for oceanographic pioneer Matthew Fontaine Maury because of Maury’s ties to the Confederacy during the later years of his life.
School staff, mental health professionals and the community can learn how to expand support for K-12 students and families experiencing mental and behavioral health issues in a webinar from 10 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, March 15.
Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis’ first memoir, which was launched ahead of an expected announcement that he will run for president in 2024, sold more copies in its first week than books from Donald Trump, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton.
North Carolina’s state motto offers a great guide to policymakers
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre faced backlash late this week after falsely claiming during a White House press briefing that Daily Wire host Michael Knowles called for the “eradication of transgender people” during a speech at CPAC.
Energy Department Secretary Jennifer Granholm gushed about China’s approach to green energy in a Friday interview, saying she hoped that the U.S. could learn from China’s approach.


Back to Top