A number of forensic chemical tests conducted on a mummy from the 3,700-3,500 BC era have revealed the recipe and made sure it was developed long before and practiced in a wider area than previously thought.
The Egyptian Museum in Torino, Italy, is now a new place for the mummy.
The findings have been published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.
Dr Stephen Buckley, an archaeologist from the University of York, UK, told BBC News that this mummy “could be said to represent the embalming that has been the core of the Egyptian mummies making for 4,000 years”.
Dr Buckley and his colleagues uncovered chemical “fingerprints” of each element, even though each part could come from various sources.
So the basic recipe is:
plant oil – possibly sesame oil;
“balsam” or root extract plants that can come from elephant grass;
rubber from plants – natural sugars which may be extracted from acacia juice;
and most importantly, the sap of the needle wood tree, possibly pine sap
Once mixed with oil, the sap will provide an antibacterial element that protects the body from decay.
“To date we have never had prehistoric mummies that really show – perfectly through chemical processes – the origin of famous mummies that we know about,” said Dr. Buckley.
How do scientists find recipes?
Dr Buckley began researching the recipe a few years ago when he and his team extracted and analyzed Egyptian textile chemical elements in mummy wrappers.
The fabric is part of the Egyptian collection of the Bolton Museum, northern England.
Coming from around 4,000 BC, this fabric is much older than when embalming and mummy origin.
“The making of mummies is generally expected to begin around 2,600 BC – when the Great Pyramid was built,” said Dr Buckley.
“But what we found was that there was evidence of the preservation of the body that started earlier.”
That mess made this team examine the prehistoric mummies of the Turino museum collection. The mummy has never been conserved, thus providing a unique opportunity to study the unpolluted chemical environment of ancient Egypt.
Dr Jana Jones, Egyptian expert and ancient Egyptian funeral practice from Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia said, “Torino’s corpse research made a significant contribution to our limited knowledge related to the prehistoric period and an increase in mummy-making practices, as well as new information on this mummy. own.
“Combining chemical analysis with visual inspection of corpses, genetic investigations, radiocarbon and microscopic analysis of linen wrappers, we ensure that the ritual of this mummy-making process takes place around 3,600 BC in a man around 20-30 years old when he died.”
Why is it important?
The fact that the same recipe was used almost 2,000 years later to embalice the Pharaohs, Dr. Buckley said, means “we have a sort of Egyptian identity as a whole long before the founding of the world’s first nation state in 3,100 BC. Its origin was much earlier than our previous thought . ”
It also reveals the deepening of how and when Ancient Egypt perfected the prescription of antibacterial embalming that protected and preserved their bodies so that they left the famous Egyptian mummy that we now know.
Embalming is one step in the process of careful need taking.
The process of making mummies is:
Brain retrieval – possibly using a “stirring” process so that the brain becomes liquid
Removal of organs in the body
Placing the body into natural salt to dry it
Cover the body with prescription balm to kill bacteria
Wrap the body with linen
“Drying and embalming recipes are the key to preserving,” Dr. Buckley explained.
“Making mummies is at the core of their culture.”
He added, “Life after death is only to extend the enjoyment of life. But they need to preserve the body so that the soul has a place to live.”