Considering how they also build the massive pyramids and those sphinxes, it’s in the ancient Egyptian’s nature to send away their dead ones in an overly extravagant fashion. Despite being a quintessential feature of the Egyptian life, it was an expensive and long process, one that would take 70-days to complete. It was initially a funeral rite that only the rich could undertake. Over a history of development, mummification becomes slowly accessible to the different class of the people. This is divided into three methods, the “most perfect” method, another one to avoid some expense, the least inexpensive method, the one developed for the poorer class.
In the “most perfect” method, reserved only to the rich, powerful and, of course, the Pharaoh, the most expensive process would preserve the body by dehydration and protected against pests. The more costly part of the embalming comes from when the soft organs of the patient would be intricately removed, to be separately preserved in various jars. The body is dehydrated with natron, a natural salt, for 70-days, then cleaned and wrapped with linen bandages. Under the layers of bandages, jewellery and amulets would be placed, to protect the soul as it travels to the afterlife. The body would be returned to the family, to then be placed in a painted sarcophagus, wood for the rich or stone for the richer ones, and placed upright against a wall in a tomb, surrounded by treasures and past personal belongings of the dead. It’s a process that truly a showcase of power and wealth, the prove of strength that even after death, the body is still given so much respect.
Now for the lower two methods, the organs of the body are not removed, reducing most of the cost of individually embalming each soft organs. Instead, the body is injected with oil extracted from cedar trees, which would later be removed after the 70-days natron treatment. The dehydrated body will be returned to the family after. The poorest method was less fortunate, with only an injection of an unnamed liquid and then given the natron treatment. In the near future of the mummification era, the process becomes so highly demanded, a booming business that will soon see the mummified body after more body stacked on top of each other inside tombs as it becomes overcrowded. Being poor in life equates being poor in death too.