Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

Special Introductory Offer!

How to Make a Mummy

Monday, March 25, 2013

LONDON, ONTARIO—Andrew Wade and Andrew Nelson of the University of Western Ontario reviewed reports on the embalming techniques used on 150 Egyptian mummies, and they analyzed seven mummies with CT scans and 3-D reconstructions, in order to compare what they found with descriptions of mummification written by Herodotus in the fifth century B.C. They concluded that embalming techniques and practices varied widely over time and place. “A lot of his accounts sound more like tourist stories, so we’re reticent to take everything he said at face value,” Wade said. He added that embalming was a competitive business with closely guarded trade secrets.