Did you know that ancient South Americans began mummifying their deceased 2,000 years before the Egyptians! Or that Kind Ramses II is the first mummy to receive a passport. Or that mummies have been found on every single continent.
Whether you are a fan of Egyptology, mummies, or even horror films, these shocking facts about mummies are sure to enthrall and fascinate you. Read on to find out more!
- Onions were often used as false eyes in ancient Egyptian mummification.
- Tremendous amounts of linen were used for mummification, with one mummy using over 9,000 feet of linen, which could cover three tennis courts.
- During the European Middle Ages, mummies were often used in medicine, with oils from boiled mummies being used for treating bruising, stomach ache, and other ailments.
- According to the ancient Egyptian religion, the very first mummy was Osiris.
- Millions of visitors from around the world visit Moscow to view the most famous mummy in the world, Vladimir Lenin.
- The ancient Egyptians removed all internal organs, except the heart. This was because they believed that a mummified person would be judged in the afterlife based on their heart. Oftentimes, they would also use a powerful amulet called the heart scarab, to protect the heart.
- The oldest mummy in Europe dates over 5,300 years and is called the “Iceman” as he was preserved in a glacier in the Alps.
- Animal mummification was an integral part of ancient Egyptian culture, with all kinds of animals being mummified ranging from cats, rams, mice, to even rats.
- Egypt is home to over one million mummies that have been discovered across its ancient civilization. Most of these mummies are cats.
- Lady of Dai, a woman named Xin Zhui is the world’s most well-preserved mummy. She passed away over 2000 years ago but still has all her internal organs, skin, hair, blood, and limbs preserved.
- The oldest mummy in North America is over 10,600 years old and was found in 1940 in Nevada.
- The word “mummy” originates from the Persian word mūm which denotes both the embalming substance and wax.
- Mummies are classified as anthropogenic, i.e manmade, or spontaneous, i.e created naturally.
- Medical autopsies of mummies have shown the ancient humans also suffered from most of the modern diseases common today such as malnutrition, sinusitis, smallpox, cancer, and tuberculosis.