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completed for him; for so many days are completed in embalming: and the Egyptians mourned for him seventy days. 4. And when the days of his mourning were passed, Joseph spoke to the house of Pharaoh, saying, If, I pray you,
I have found grace in your eyes, speak, I pray you, in the ears of Pharaoh, saying, 5. My father made
about seventy days (ver. 3), usually ended during seventy days, after the expiratogether with the process of mummifica- tion of which period it was washed, tion, but which, in the instance of the and wrapped in bandages of linen cloth patriarch, exceeded it by thirty days. 4. covered with gum. By this procedure, all The body, after having been cnclosed in the parts of the body, even the hair of the a case of wood or stone (ver. 26), was eye-brows and eye-lids, were admirably then either deposited in the family vaults preserved; and the very scatures of the (ver. 13), or placed in a sepulchral cham- countenance remained unaltered. ber of the house of the nearest relative II. The cost of the second mode of em(ver. 26).
balming amounted totwenty minæ,or about If we now turn to the account of Hero- £81. No incision was made, nor were the dotus on the operations of embalming (ii. bowels taken out; but the body was, by 86-88), and endeavour to combine with means of syringes, filled with oilof cedar at it some observations of Diodorus Siculus the abdomen, and steeped in natrum for (i. 91), we may thus briefly delineate the
seventy days. When the oil was let out, three different methods of mummification the intestines and vitals came out in a described by both authors.
state of dissolution, while the natrum conI. If the most expensive mode, esti- sumed the flesh; so that nothing of the mated at one talent of silver, or about body remained except the skin and the £250, was employed, the brain was first bones: and this skeleton was returned to taken out through the nostrils, partly with the relatives of the deceased. The possian iron (or bronze) hook, and partly bybility of an injection, as here described, the infusion of drugs; then an appointed without the aid of incisions, has been dissector made, with a sharp Ethiopian doubted; and, in some cases, incisions stone, a deep incision (generally about have indeed been observed near the rectum. five inches long) in the left side, at a part III. A third and very cheap method, before marked out by a scribe: but hav- employed for the poorer classes, consisted ing scarcely performed this operation, he merely in thoroughly rinsing the abdomen hastily fled, persecuted by those present with syrmæa, a purgative liquor (perwith stones and imprecations, as one who haps composed of an infusion of senna and was guilty of the heinous crime of violently cassia), and then steeping the body in mutilating the body of a fellow-man. Then natrum for the usual seventy days. one of the embalmers, holy men, who According to Herodotus, then, the lived in the society of the priests, and en- mummification lasted, in erery case, joyed unreserved access to the temples, seventy days; and the same fact may extracted through the incision all intes. be derived from the text Diodorus. tines, except the kidneys and the heart; And yet our text remarks clearly, "and every part of the viscera was spiced, forty days were completed for him; for rinsed with palm-wine, and sprinkled with so many duys are completed in embalming" pounded perfumes. The body was next (ver. 3). Are we, under these circumfilled with pure myrrh, cassia, and other stances, compelled here to suppose an inaromatics, with the exception of frankin- accurate or arbitrary statement? We becense; scwed up; and steeped in natrum lieve that the study of Egyptian mummies
me swear, saying, Behold, I die: in my grave which I have digged for me in the land of Canaan, there shalt thou bury me. Now, therefore, let me go up, 1
pray thee, and bury my father, and I will return. 6. And Pharaoh said, Go up, and bury thy father, as he made
7. And Joseph went up to bury his father: and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt. 8. And all the house of Joseph, and his brothers, and his father's house: only their little ones, and their flocks, and their herds, they left in the land of Goshen. 9. And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen: and
does not sanction such conclusion. It is certain, that the modes of embalming varied very considerably in different periods and in the several districts of Egypt. The accounts of Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus are so obviously divergent in ese sential points, that they must be held describe perfectly distinct ways of mummification. While, according to the former, the sprinkling of the body and the filling of the interior seem to be the work of one day, after which the corpse having been sewed up was laid in natrum for seventy days, that“ the flesh might be dissolved"; the latter historian states that during the whole period ointments and perfumes were applied, while he does not at all mention the steeping in natrum, by no means an unimportant and accessory part of the operations.—But not less striking are the contrasts between the descriptions of both historians and the ocular evidence derived from the numerous mummies discovered and examined. Herodotus observes, that the body was sewed up where the incision had been made; but existing mummies show that the cut surfaces were brought together by simple apposition. According to Herodotus, all the bowels were taken out; according to Diodorus, the kidneys and the heart were left; while many discovered specimens teach us that the entrails, after having been washed with palm-wine and sprinkled with aromatics, were replaced into the cavity of the body, either entire, or rolled up in three or four distinct portions, and enclosed in bandages. According to Diodorus, the corpse was, by the embalmers, first laid on the ground; but on the mummy cases and on numerous papyri, we find it invariably on a table, furnished with a lion's
head. According to the historian of Halicarnassus, the mummies were placed erect against the wall; but in the mummy-pits visited by modern travellers, they are generally seen lying in regular horizon. tal rows, or sunk into a cement. It appears Herodotus, that the ventral incision was applied in the most expensive process only; while it is found in mummies not enclosed in sarcophagi, and is, on the other hand, wanting in many prepared in the most costly style. In some specimens, the cavity of the body is filled up with asphaltum; in others, with the ashes of sandal-, cedar-, and other wood, with resinous matters, salt, myrrh, or argillaceous earth, and in others not at all. The cuticle is, in many mummies, carefully removed, in which operation great precaution was taken not to disturb any of the nails; and yet neither Herodotus nor Diodorus allude to this curious usage. The poor were not embalmed in any of the methods described by the historians, but were simply laid upon beds of charcoal, wrapped round with clothes, and covered with a mat, upon which sand, seven or eight feet high, was heaped. If we consider these differences, and the many others which will be apparent from later remarks, we cannot hesitate to accede to the result obtained by modern researches, that “in no case the observations of Herodotus are strictly true, though nothing has been described by him, that has not in some instance or other been detected.” A classification of the mummies is indeed impossible. The only division of practical value which they admit is into mummies with and without the ventral incision: the former, if preserved by balsamic matter, have the features, teeth, and hair com
pletely uninjured, are dry, light, and part of the cavity of the skull were filled easily broken, emit a strong aromatic with cloth or linen, in one instance, nine smell when thrown upon hot coals; or if yards long, but of very fine texture.prepared by natrum, have the skin hard Various kinds of insects and pupae have and elastic, resembling parchment, the been found in the skull, otherwise totalcountenance a little altered, and the hair ly empty.-Yet in some cases, though the considerably impaired: the latter, if salted body was very carefully mummified, the and covered with pissasphaltum (and this brain was not removed.-Beneath the is the class of mummies most frequently embalming table were placed four vases, found), are not recognisable, black, dry, the covers of which were respectively heavy, and of disagreeable odour; or if provided with the head of a man, a jackal, simply salted and dried, have the features a hawk, and a cynocephalus, representing destroyed, the hair wholly wanting, the the four genii of the lower world.— The bones white like those of a skeleton, and Ethiopian stone with which the inciare, in fact, the worst as regards preserva- sion was made, is the Ethiopian basalt, tion. Hence it is as superfluous, as it extremely hard and capable of a very is impossible, to try a conciliation be- keen edge.-Over the incision, the eye tween the forty days of Genesis and the of Osiris was represented, since it was beseventy of Herodotus; certainly the at- lieved that the soul of the dead, if found tempts hitherto made to cffect that ac- virtuous, became again a part of the cordance, have been signally unsuccessful: great god from whom it had emanated. though the author may possibly have - The bowels were, according to Porconsidered a more simple and less ex- phyry enclosed in a chest (or in vases tended mode of embalming sufficient in of baked clay or alabaster), and sunk the case of Jacob, whose mummification into the Nile, with prayers to the Sun, was not grounded on the superstition that who was entreated to receive the soul the existence of the soul depends on the of the deceased into the regions of the preservation of the body; while he na- gods, and to impute all his transgressions turally did not wish to curtail the usual not to the wickedness of his heart, but to seventy days of mourning in honour of the contents of the chest: but this custom the revered patriarch.
has not unreasonably been questioned as We conclude with a few additional implying a pollution of the holy river, and remarks in connection with the art of em- an insult to the dead.— The mummies, balming. The possibility, long ques- even those which have not the ventral tioned, of drawing out the brains through incision, were frequently gilded on the the nostrils, has now been fully demon- nails of the fingers and toes, and somestrated. In some cases, the nose re- times on the eye-lids, the lips, and the mained entirely unhurt, though in some face, the hands and the feet. Leaves of it was broken.or destroyed. The brain gold have been found on the forehead, the was sometimes replaced with bitumin- eyes, the tongue, and the nose, and in ous and resinous matter, or with spices some instances, on the whole body; while in a state of coarse powder; and some. in others, the head is adorned with an times the apertures of the nostrils and artificial crown of olive in copper gilt.
the procession was very great. 10. And they came to the threshing-floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, and there they lamented with a great and very vehement lamentation : and he made a mourning for his father seven days. 11. And when the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning in the floor of Atad, they said, This is a vehement mourning to the Egyptians: therefore was its name called Abel-mizraim, which is beyond the Jordan. 12. And his sons did to him as he had commanded them: 13. For his sons carried him into the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the
Not a few of these mummies may be those of Greeks who died in Egypt in the tiine of the Pharaohs or the Ptolemies; since some bear Greek inscriptions, and the custom of wreathing the illustrious dead prevailed among the Hellenes. Nor was the usage of wrapping the body in sheets of gold unknown to them; the corpse of Alexander the Great was thus brought from Asia in a kind of chase-work so closely applied to the skin that even the expression of the countenance was preserved; and it was further protected by another veil of the same precious metal. Gold sheets of considerable weight and value have also been discovered in the graves of northern tribes, on the banks of the Volga, the Irtish, and the Ob. One of the Ptolemies substituted a covering of glass for that of gold, by a contrivance of most surprising skill.--Sometimes the nails of the fingers and toes, the palms and soles, seem to have been stained scarlet with a substance like henna, consisting of the leaves of the shrub Tamarhenna, or of Lawsonia, dried, powdered, and formed into a paste.- The body was always extended, and the head erect; but the arms are found in some cases lying closely along the sides of the body, in others crossed over the breast; while in others, one arm is placed in the former, and the other in the latter position. There is no reason to doubt the correctness of the order of the operations as stated by Herodotus, and to suppose that the steeping in natrum preceded the application of the aromatics. The description of the Greek historian does not less satisfactorily than the alleged agency of a great degree of heat, mentioned by no ancient author, account for the fact that “the resinous and aromatic
substances penetrated even into the inner
structure of the bones." Hence mummy was much used as a drug in the sixteenth and part of the seventeenth centuries, in cases of bruises and wounds, and the Arabs still apply mummy powder, mixed with butter, as a favourite remedy for contusions. — The bandages were never of woollen stuffs, because they are apt to harbour vermin; they were, even in the mummies of the poorest individual, like the robes of the priests, usually of linen, and seldom of cotton, a fact which has been ascertained by exact microscopic examination; those nearest to the body were of the coarsest kind; they were generally dipped in an antiseptic fluid, either cedria or some other vegetable preparation; many are furnished with hieroglyphics, expressing the name and profession of the deceased, or containing his praise in verses; some bear enchorial characters with representations of the lower world; and some have names in Greek letters. They were varionsly tinged; sometimes they had a blue border, or a fringe terminating in knots; some contained napkins so perfectly preserved as to be still fit for use; others included garments which had been worn and mended, with embroidered initials; or artificial and most intricate wreaths, consisting of two garlands with red berries and the petals of the lotus; or curious leathern fingers, perhaps intended as amulets. After the first or outer layer of the bandages were found idols in agate, jasper, and other stones, representing Isis, Apis, Horus, or frogs, and arranged as collars; or necklaces of gold,coral, lapis lazuli, or of pearls in enamelled glass; further, the four genii of the Amenti and other amulets in wax gilt; rings and car-rings,
spangles in the plaited hair,girdles in gold, shape of the body; it was sewed up at the bracelets in fine pearls and precious stones, back, and beautifully painted and ornametallic mirrors under the head, and espe- mented with numerous subjects, as the cially scarabæi of very various stones, on principal gods, especially of the lower tablets in the form of an Egyptian temple, world, holding judgment over the dead, provided with the figures of Isis and Ne- sacred arks, and boats; the face, often phytis, and covered with hieroglyphics, in covered with thin gold-leaf, was perhaps which case they were placed on the chest or intended to resemble that of the deceased; beneath the eyes of the mummies, to indi- the eyes were enamelled; the hair carefully cate the protecting influence of the deity. imitated was decked with gold or other Though some mummies were not ban- ornaments; and a net-work of coloured daged at all, but only covered with a mat, beads spread over the breast or the whole the quantity of bandages employed in body.—The outer case, though sometimes others is extraordinary; they are often fold- employed without the cartonage, was ed twenty to thirty times round the body, either of wood, generally of the sycamore, in some cases they consist of not less than a deal, or cedar (symbolical of eternity), thousand ells, up to a yard in breadth, and richly painted, or, less frequently, of weigh thirty pounds and upwards. But the basalt, granite, slate, limestone, or red texture is occasionally as fine as muslin, the earthenware, while the alleged sarcopha"woven air," the admiration of the ancient gus of Alexander the Great and the soworld—The bandages were most neatly called “Lover's Fountain," both preserved and closely applied by means of com- in the British Museum, are of breccia. presses and rollers in every possible shape When of wood, the case was eitlier of oband position, chiefly with the view of long shape, with curved or pointed lid, on effectually excluding the air.-In mum- which sometimes the figure of the deceased mies of distinguished personuges, the arms was represented in relief; or it had the and legs were bandaged separately; strips form of the mummied body, with a winged of red and white linen were intermixed; scarabæus or globe, a hawk or a ramthe feet provided with sandals of painted headed vulture.—The small number of leather, the arms and wrists with bracelets, mummies of children hitherto found has and sometimes the face, the hands, and justly caused surprise, and can only be acfeet, with masks. The eyes and eye- counted for by the supposition that the brows are found of enamel. Some mum- bodies of infants were deposited in sepamies are varnished over with a dark
rate pits, none of which have as yet been leather colour, appearing like a “uniform discovered.-Mummification was customcoat of mail"; some bear portraits of the ary till the fifth century of the Christian deceased, not unskilfully executed, upon era; but from that time it fell gradually into a thin plate of cedar wood. Then the disuse.—The modern Egyptians wash their corpse was, in many, but by no means in dead thoroughly in water in which leaves all, instances, placed into a mummy-case. of the lote-tree have been boiled, and use First, a cartonage, consisting of many in that operation the fibres of the palmlayers of linen cemented together, plas- tree; stop up with cotton every aperture, as tered with lime on the inside, and hence the nostrils and ears; shave the body and resembling pasteboard, but of astonishing remove all hair; sprinkle the corpse with a durability, was made to fit exactly the mixture of water, pounded camphor, dried