Embalming in Egyptian: an ancient recipe from “Menhotenko” is revealed

Egyptian mummies have been perfectly preserved for thousands of years, and their facial features can be distinguished even now.

Now researchers have figured out why Egyptian mummies still look so good, thanks to an elaborate embalming recipe .

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Experts have discovered that the ancient Egyptians were masters of chemistry and knew exactly what ingredients were needed to stop the decomposition of flesh.

Newly found embalming recipes that were used about 2,700 years ago included tree resin, juniper, and beeswax.

According to experts, some of them were brought from Southeast Asia, and they had important antibacterial properties.

An international team of researchers analyzed 31 ceramic vessels found in an embalming workshop in Saqqara, one of the most important cemeteries of ancient Egypt.

Vessels dated 664 BC were inscribed with instructions for embalming, such as “put on the head” or “bandage it”. They also contained the names of the embalming substances and had remnants of the substances themselves.

This allowed the team to understand for the first time what chemicals were used in mummification, how they were mixed, named and applied.

For example, they found three different mixtures that included substances such as elemi resin, pistachio resin, beeswax, and juniper by-products specifically used for head embalming.

Other mixtures were used to wash the body or soften the skin.

The authors also showed that many of the embalming substances originated far outside of Egypt – for example, products from Pistosia and Juniper probably came from the Mediterranean region, and elemi resins, possibly from the rainforests of Southeast Asia.


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