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Mummification is the name given in ancient Egypt to the preservation of a corpse for eternity. Although it appears as a practice in several other African societies, mummification remains most identified with the Egyptian society. The Egyptians left no detailed descriptions of the mummification process, although there are enough fragments of pictures to give contemporary readers an understanding of the complex process. Almost all written descriptions of the details of mummification derive from the writings of the early Greeks, who visited Africa and recorded what they saw or were told. Greek writers such as Diodorus, Herodotus, Plutarch, and Porphyrus provide enough detail to allow us to reconstruct the process of mummification.

Usually the process began right after death and could last for 70 days. The body ...

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