May 12, 2012

Ancient Egyptian Mummy Facts

Mummies Unearthed, 1819
John Fuller

Of the forty tombs which were reported to exist when Strabo wrote, about ten or twelve are now open. They are in different states of preservation, but they are all curious from the infinite variety of the representations on their walls.

Egyptian Mummies Unearthed
From the Bab el Maluk, or “Gate of the Kings” (as this valley of sepulchres is called), a steep path leads to the ridge of the mountains, from whence there is a view of the whole plain of Thebes with its various antiquities, and a fine reach of the Nile. The eastern face of the mountains is one vast cemetery, and in descending into the plain we continually passed the openings of Egyptian mummy pits, and almost stumbled over the bodies which had been extracted from them. Some of them still remained in their original grave-clothes; some were stripped of all their cerements and yet remained entire; and others had been broken into fragments and scattered about, exhibiting altogether a most disgusting spectacle. The resinous substance with which the cavities of the head and trunk were filled in the process of embalming is used for various purposes, and the profits arising from the sale of it are sufficient to induce the natives thus to violate the repose of the tomb. Their labours are sometimes better rewarded, by the discovery of more curious mummies which are sought for by travellers and collectors.

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