Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/26/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Writings left by ancient Egyptian historian found to be lacking in fact

Contrary to what was once popularly believed, ancient Egyptian embalmers did not always leave the heart in place or remove the guts using cedar oil enemas in the creation of mummies. Such theories have been held in esteem for thousands of year, in texts left by fifth century B.C. Egyptian historian Herodotus. However, "A lot of his accounts sound more like tourist stories, so we're reticent to take everything he said at face value,' Andrew Wade, an anthropologist at the University of Western Ontario says.

Huge fees were charged for making Egyptians immortal, which was of paramount importance to them. It is estimated that some 70 million mummies were created before the practice became extinct.

Huge fees were charged for making Egyptians immortal, which was of paramount importance to them. It is estimated that some 70 million mummies were created before the practice became extinct.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/26/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Mummies, cedar oil enemas, Herodotus, ancient accounts, afterlife


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In his writings, Herodotus described first and second class levels of embalming. The elite were slit through the belly, through which organs were removed.

For the lower classes, mummies had organs eaten away with an enema of cedar oil, in a solution thought to be similar to turpentine.

Herodotus also claimed that the brain was removed during embalming while heart was always left in place.

However, these accounts have since been dismissed by researchers. As published in the February issue of HOMO - Journal of Comparative Human Biology, 150 mummies from the ancient world were analyzed to verify these claims.

Wade says that embalming back then was an extremely competitive business, and the tricks of the trade were closely guarded secrets. Wade, along with his colleague Andrew Nelson looked through the literature to see how eviscerations actually took place.

The two went so far as conducting CT scans and 3D reconstructions on seven mummies.

For upper class Egyptians, evisceration was sometimes performed through a slit in the rear. There wasn't much indication that cedar oil enemas were used, as described by Herodotus.

Only 25 percent of the mummification subjects had their hearts left in place. The removal of the heart seems to coincide with the transition period when the middle class gained access to mummification, so getting to keep the heart may have become a status symbol after that point, Wade said.

According to historical records, Egyptian pharaohs often ordered jewels and even wives to be placed in tombs, so that they could bring them along on their spiritual journey.

Embalming was the process of drying a body. Internal organs, besides the heart and kidney, were removed, and then the inside of the body was rinsed with wine to kill bacteria.
 
Huge fees were charged for making Egyptians immortal, which was of paramount importance to them. It is estimated that some 70 million mummies were created before the practice became extinct.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Africa

Minnesota dentist accused of hunting famous African lion, Cecil, faces extreme backlash from the world Watch

Image of Walt Palmer pictured with previous hunting kill.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

PETA or the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has stated that the dentist accused of killing the famous lion Cecil in Zimbabwe needs to be "extradited, charged and, preferably, hanged." MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - It has been revealed to the ... continue reading


Kenyan women beat starvation by 'sack farming' Watch

Image of The method has created employment and generated income for both rural and urban dwellers, and has proved to be a good way for farmers to adapt to the effects of climate change, he added.

By Caroline Wambui, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Central Kenya's Nturukuma region is not kind to farmers - its erratic rainfall, desert vegetation and drying riverbeds push most people into making a living through trade rather than agriculture. NTURUKUMA, Kenya (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Jane Kairuthi ... continue reading


Two soldiers injured during a terrorist attack in Algeria Watch

Image of

By Kaci Racelma (Catholic Online)

Algeria continues to pay for its fight against terrorism. After a deadly attack perpetrated in the region of Ain Defla on July 17, against an army patrol, terrorist groups reappeared in the eastern region of Batna on July 27 with an attack against a military barrack. ... continue reading


Algeria holds international conference on stopping radicalization around the world Watch

Image of

By Kaci Racelma (Catholic Online)

Radicalization is a generic phenomenon that plagues all democratic societies. The radicalization of armed groups, that carry out attacks everywhere worldwide, challenges all governments at the highest level. ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Catholic Online) - This perspective was ... continue reading


Malian authorities dismantle terrorist training camp Watch

Image of

By Kaci Racelma

The security situation never seemed better in the sub Saharan region, particularly Mali. ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Catholic Online) - Sometimes when the country's army takes over, it is a good thing; as is the case with the dismantling of a terrorist training camp, last week, ... continue reading


11 Algerian soldiers killed in country's bloodiest terrorist attack Watch

Image of

By Kaci Racelma (Catholic Online)

Friday, July 17, 2015, known as the first day of the Muslim Eid Al-Fitr, celebrated after the end of Ramadan, became one of the bloodiest days in Algeria. ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Catholic Online) - The Algerian army lost at least 11 soldiers in an ambush claimed by Al-Qaeda ... continue reading


Displaced Africans flee to neighboring countries with little - or no prospects Watch

Image of Witnesses from the State Department and international humanitarian organizations testified that social chaos in sub-Saharan Africa has created a full-blown humanitarian crisis.

By Matt Hadro, CNA/EWTN News

Plagued by wars, terrorism, and repressive governments, sub-Saharan Africa is in the throes of a humanitarian crisis that the international community is not ready to address, witnesses testified on Washington, D.C.'s Capitol Hill. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN ... continue reading


Kenya plans massive nude march to reject Obama's support for homosexuality during visit Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Kenya plans to hold a unique demonstration on July 22 and 23 for President Barrack Obama's visit. According to Kenya's Republican Liberty Party, the protest intends to rally 5,000 men and women. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Vincent Kidala, the party's ... continue reading


African countries spike up security as terror threats grow toward end of Ramadan Watch

Image of The night life in Algeria is full during Ramadan.

By Kaci Racelma (Catholic Online)

In the opinion of many throughout Algeria, the security policy created by the country's leaders worked well. Terrorist attacks appear to have been avoided, with no recent painful tragedy shaking the country. ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Catholic Online) - During the 1990s ... continue reading


Obama's half-brother hurt over President's failure to inform relatives of upcoming trip in Kenya Watch

Image of Malik Obama is Barack Obama's half-brother living in Kenya.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barrack Obama is rumored to be visiting the homeland of his father, Kenya, in a few weeks. Unfortunately, his step-brother Malik Abon'go Obama expressed disappointment over the U.S. President's failure to inform his own family, in the country, about his ... continue reading


All Africa News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Gospel, John 11:19-27
19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 29th, 2015 Image

St. Martha
July 29: "Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus." This unique ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter