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A mummy is a body preserved by chemical processes or special natural circumstances, often in the belief that the deceased will need it again in the afterlife. In ancient Egypt, the bodies of people who could afford mummification underwent a complex process of removing organs, filling body cavities, dehydrating the corpse with natron, and then wrapping the body with linen bandages and enclosing it in a wooden sarcophagus. Many of these mummies have survived until our modern day. The earliest known Egyptian "mummified" individual dates back to approximately 3300 BC.


The Earth and Its Peoples A Global History, Bulliet et al., 2005.