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Just In: Recipe For Face Embalming

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Ancient embalmers dipped a piece of red linen in a plant-based concoction before applying the cloth to the deceased's face. (Ida Christensen / University of Copenhagen)

Oldest Known Mummification Manual Reveals How Egyptians Embalmed the Face

by Isis Davis-Marks/Smithsonianmag.com

Egyptian mummies have fascinated the public for centuries. But until recently, researchers had only identified two ancient documents detailing the embalming process. Now, reports Amanda Kooser for CNET, a newly discovered, 3,500-year-old manual may shed more light on mummification’s mysteries.

Per a statementSofie Schiødt, an Egyptologist at the University of Copenhagen, uncovered the guide while translating a portion of the Papyrus Louvre-Carlsberg for her doctoral thesis. The nearly 20-foot-long manuscript, which focuses mainly on herbal medicine and skin conditions, contains a short section outlining embalming methods, including how to preserve a dead person’s face.

“The text reads like a memory aid, so the intended readers must have been specialists who needed to be reminded of these details, such as unguent recipes and uses of various types of bandages,” says Schiødt in the statement. “Some of the simpler processes, [for example] the drying of the body with natron, have been omitted from the text.”

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Biography
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.

She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – one daughter-in-law; Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescue pups.

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