Ancient Egyptians believed in life after death. They thought that the dead went to a place called the Next World, a land filled with comfort and happiness.
The early Egyptians believed that in order for a pharaoh to enjoy life in the "Next World" they needed their earthly bodies. It took 70 days to turn the pharaoh's body into a mummy. the hardest part about making a mummy was to keep water and bacteria out of the body so that it wouldn't decay. The embalmers would make cuts in the left side of the body and remove the lungs, liver, intestines and stomach. They pulled the brain out from the nose with a long hook. The ancient Egyptians believed that the heart was the center of intelligence and memory, so it was usually left inside the body. Then the body was washed inside and out with wine. The alcohol killed the bacteria. Then the body was covered with natron, a natural salt and left for forty days so that the body could dry out. When the body was dry, it looked dark, limp and lifeless. The body then had to be stuffed with sawdust to make it look more lifelike. Then the body was bathed in wine and spices, wrapped in linen bandages, and left for 30 days. A lifelike mummy was placed over the mummy's face. Finally the mummy was returned to its relatives for burial.
Mummification depended on what the family could afford. It was a long, complicated and expensive process. Pharaohs were the richest people, so they were able to afford the best mummification possible.
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