The Ancient Egyptian Practice and Process of Mummification

Server Costs Fundraiser 2024

Help our mission to provide free history education to the world! Please donate and contribute to covering our server costs in 2024. With your support, millions of people learn about history entirely for free every month.
$3389 / $18000


Kelly Macquire
published on 26 June 2022

Mummification of the deceased is a practice that began in ancient Egypt as early as 3500 BCE that not only prevented the body from decay and decomposition but was done to ensure the deceased’s successful passage to the afterlife because a soul couldn’t reach the afterlife if their body wasn’t intact. Mummification is the process involved in embalming and preserving the body after death in order for the soul to continue its eternal journey because a person’s immortal soul, name, and identity were linked to their physical form.

The jackal-headed god Anubis was not only a protector of the dead, but was the god of the afterlife and mummification, the inventor of mummification, and presided over mummification rituals and funerals. Prior to Osiris becoming the Lord of the Underworld, Anubis’ role was as the Lord of the Dead, but after the death and rebirth of Osiris, Anubis became Osiris’ right-hand man who guarded Osiris’ body after death, oversaw his mummification, and assisted Osiris in the judgement of souls.

Learn all about the amazing Treasures of Ancient Greece Guided Tour and we hope to see you there!
Watch our interview with Dr Rita Roussos, our knowledgeable tour guide!



0:00​ Introduction
0:36 Explore Ancient Greece with WHE!
1:14 What is Mummification?
2:41 The Development of Burial Practices
5:31 The Mummification Process
10:23 Outro

Mummification in Ancient Egypt
Cultural & Theological Background of Mummification in Egypt–theological-background-of-mummification/
Grave Goods in Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egyptian Burial
The Soul in Ancient Egypt

The Egyptian Book of the Dead - A Guide to the Underworld
Shabti Dolls of Ancient Egypt - Helpers in the Afterlife
Osiris: Egyptian God of the Underworld and Judge of the Dead
Anubis: The Egyptian Jackal-Headed God of Mummification and the Afterlife
The Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt

You can find all attribution and credits for images, animations, graphics and music here -

The music used in this recording is the intellectual copyright of Michael Levy, a prolific composer for the recreated lyres of antiquity, and used with the creator's permission. Michael Levy's music is available to stream at all the major digital music platforms. Find out more on:

— THUMBNAIL IMAGE —,_Edinburgh,_Scotland,_UK.jpg
Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP(Glasg) - own work
CC BY SA 4.0 -
Marco Almbauer - own work
CC BY SA 3.0 -

World History Encyclopedia

#mummification #egyptianmummification #mummificationprocess #ancientegypt

Remove Ads
Subscribe to this author

About the Author

Kelly Macquire
Kelly is a graduate from Monash University who has completed her BA (Honours) in Ancient History and Archaeology, focussing on iconography and status in Pylos burials. She has a passion for mythology and the Aegean Bronze Age.

Cite This Work

APA Style

Macquire, K. (2022, June 26). The Ancient Egyptian Practice and Process of Mummification. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Macquire, Kelly. "The Ancient Egyptian Practice and Process of Mummification." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified June 26, 2022.

MLA Style

Macquire, Kelly. "The Ancient Egyptian Practice and Process of Mummification." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 26 Jun 2022. Web. 22 Jul 2024.