News | Published:

Mummification Technique in Ancient Egypt

Nature volume 141, page 1049 (11 June 1938) | Download Citation



A PIECE of evidence bearing on the methods and apparatus in use in the processes of mummification in ancient Egypt, but which apparently has suffered neglect, has been rescued from the rest-house of the Department of Antiquities at Medinet Habu, where it has remained in the garden for many years, and has been placed in the Cairo Museum (The Times, June 6). It is a limestone table, on which the operation of embalming took place, and is officially described as unique. It measures eight feet five inches long by three feet four inches wide, and resembles the traditional form of the bed on which mummies were exhibited at funerals. Representations of the legs and feet of lions are carved in relief at the corners, and at the head were lions' heads similarly carved. A raised border surrounds the table, and at the foot, where the feet of the body lay, there is a sufficient depth to allow for the retention of several quarts of the embalming liquid. A small hole pierced at the end of the table allowed the liquid to be drained away from a semi-circular basin-like depression. The table is eleven and a half inches only in height, and it is therefore assumed that the embalmers worked in a squatting position.

About this article

Publication history





    By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

    Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing