The process of mummification takes a lot of precision, care, and time. Mummification techniques have evolved through time, beginning as early as the Dynastic times of ancient Egypt. The complicated procedure is very interesting, yet some of the techniques are a little confusing. For example, why did they remove the brain, internal organs, and lungs from the body but not the heart? Did they not remove the heart because it was too sacred, or was it needed in the afterlife? Then why would they take out all of the other organs? Were they just unnecessary in the afterlife, or was there a different symbolic, religious, or medical reason? These organs were obviously still important though because they were cleaned and preserved in containers that were guarded by the sons of Horus. After all of this, the body was wrapped in linens, protected by amulets. This whole process takes about one hundred and ten days. The care of the dead to help them journey through the afterlife was obviously an important task. This is known because of the time and amount of detail put into preserving the dead.
Current technologies are excellent in providing new information about mummification and the ancient Egyptians. Many mummies can now be x-rayed and tissues can be rehydrated, which can show evidence of diseases that were present in these mummies when they were living. X-rays show such problems as trauma, arthritis, poliomyelitis, dental abscesses, and other diseases. These defects are even seen in royal mummies. Humorously, the mummy of Makara the priestess who was formerly thought to have been buried with her child was found to be buried with a baboon instead through the use of these new x-ray technologies. Now, the sex and age of mummies can be determined without unwrapping the linens. These technologies help by better preserving the bodies because some do not have to be disturbed by unwrapping them and doing autopsies. Studying mummies provides an interesting view into the life and death of the ancient Egyptians.