This passage is about mummification.

Lexile Level: 1170L

Categories: History Science & Technology

Perhaps you've seen mummies stumbling around in horror movies and cartoons. Most people think of Egypt and its mummified pharoahs, but mummification has been practiced in South America, Japan, and throughout the Himalayan countries. For ancient peoples, the basic idea of mummification was to preserve one's body after death so that one could have a good journey to the afterlife. Clay pots of food and drink were placed around the body for the trip. In the early days of the practice of mummification, salts were applied to the body to remove the moisture from the skin, perfumes were rubbed on to control the odor of the body, and the skin was oiled to keep it from becoming fragile from the dryness. Later improvements to the method included removing the internal organs and storing them in jars buried with the mummy. The oldest known mummy is in London's British Museum. It's over 5,000 years old.


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