Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pharaonic brain drain bed

Egypt Daily Star News

With photo.

Egyptian antiquities authorities on Thursday revealed an ancient Pharaonic embalming bed unearthed from a mysterious tomb near Luxor used to prepare bodies for mummification more than 3,000 years ago.

The wooden bed was painstakingly restored after being discovered in pieces in the KV-63 tomb in southern Egypt’s famous Valley of the Kings, next to Tutankhamun’s tomb, the Supreme Council of Antiquities said in a statement.

The bed, featuring carved heads of a lion and a lioness at its foot, slopes downwards five centimeters from head to toe to help drain bodies being prepared for mummification.

Bodies had their organs removed as soon as possible after death, including the brain which was thrown away as it was thought to serve no purpose in the afterlife.

The heart was left in the body, with other organs cleaned, perfumed and preserved in jars to be buried with the mummy.

Afterwards, the corpse spent 40 days on the bed for draining of fluids, and another 15 days being bandaged.

Antiquities chief Zahi Hawass said in a statement that the 170-cm-long bed had been reconstructed from pieces of wood found scattered around tomb KV-63.

See the above page for the full story.

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