A discovery that could allow us to explore in detail some of the mysterious techniques used during the mummification process. It is linked to the identification of an ancient embalming laboratory, discovered in Egypt, as confirmed by a recent study, published in the journal “Nature” and conducted by experts from the University of Tübingen, by those from the Ludwig-Maximilians University, in Germany, and the American University in Cairo.
The engravings on 31 vases found
In particular, according to what the scientists underlined, the discovery was made by a team that analyzed 31 ceramic vessels recovered from an embalming laboratory located in Saqqara, Egypt, dating back to the XXVI dynasty of Egypt (664-525 BC). . Among the finds identified, engravings of texts have been reported which contain detailed instructions precisely on the mummification process.
Information on embalming techniques
Embalming, scholars still report, was based on a rather long and complex process, in which it was necessary to use specific chemicals, mixtures and ointments intended for the conservation of the bodies of the deceased during what was referred to as “the journey to the afterlife”. To date, what is known about these techniques is linked in particular to what has been handed down from ancient literature and from the examination of organic residues carried out on Egyptian mummies. Yet, there are still several points to be clarified in this regard. As mentioned, new information can come precisely from this discovery and from the engravings on the vessels analyzed which report interesting information on the substances used at the time and on the maneuvers to be performed to proceed with the embalming of a deceased body. Specifically, this information made it possible to understand how there were three different mixtures that included substances, including elemi resin, pistacia resin, as well as juniper or cypress by-products and beeswax, used precisely for embalming, particularly of the head, while other compounds were used to cleanse the rest of the body and, at the same time, soften the skin. At the same time, the researchers understood how many of these substances were not present in Egypt, but were more certainly imported from other areas, such as the Levant or the rainforests of Southeast Asia.