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site details

0900-1300, 1700-2200
0900-1300, 1600-2100
E£20 entry
E£10 student
E£10 camera

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travelogue 2/15

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Mummification Museum

Down on the corniche is a small musuem dedicated to the art of mummification. The techniques evolved over several millena -- earliest burials were simply in baskets in the sand, where the heat and desert air would dessicate the body. Later burials of pharaohs were elaborate, ritualistic affairs. In order to attain the afterlife, the body must be preserved.

By the New Kingdom, mummification had reached a high art, with the internal organs being removed and stored in canopic jars, the brain removed, and teh body dehydrated in natron salts for 40-70 days. The body was then wrapped in linen bandates and placed in coffins and sarcophagi.

The tools that they used were quite modern looking -- scalpels, hooks, scrapers -- and the museum has many fine examples. THree are examples of mummified animals -- a crocodile, cats, baboons, fish, and others -- and a number of decorated sarcophagi. Notably missing is any human mummy.


It is definitely an interesting hour or so (the musuem is quite small), and sometimes the labels on the items are unintentionally funny.

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