"Many ancient cultures practiced mummification . . . . Mummies have been found in the Middle East, Andes mountains of South America, Peruvian desert, western China and parts of Scandinavia. The most widely-known mummies are Egyptian, they are the focus of much folklore and superstition. Egyptians practiced mummification as early as 3400 B.C. Ancient Egyptians believed in a spiritual rebirth after death. It was important mummified corpses resemble the living person because the soul used them in the afterlife . . . . Families concerned for the safety of their deceased loved ones often carved curses into tomb and crypt doors. A mummy onboard has even been blamed for the sinking of the Titanic".
See the full article for more about Egyptian practices of mummification.