005 - Embalming

Significant Concept

To have knowledge and understanding of how bodies were prepared for the after-world in Ancient Egypt.

Key Terminology

  • After-world
  • Embalming
  • Mummification
  • Canopic Jars


  • Just listen to the clip below as it will give an outline of what mummification is.

For the Ancient Egyptians the after-world was similar to that on Earth. When someone died the spirit would either leave the body as a large bird and fly in to the after-world or float there on a boat. For this to happen the body had to be in perfect condition and it was the embalmers role to make sure this happened. For people who were less wealthy they were buried in the hot sand as it dried the bodies out quickly. Mummification is just a way to preserve the body and to stop if from decaying. You have seen this process while studying Otzi.


Using page 84 in your 'World Studies. The Ancient World' text book answer the following questions:

  1. How do we know that the Ancient Egyptians believed in life after death?
  2. How do the spirits get to the after world?
  3. What was it supposed to be like in the after world?
  4. How were people originally buried in Ancient Egypt?
  5. When did the above process change?
  6. Why did the body need to be preserved?
  7. What was left along with the body?


  • As you watch the short clip below describe the 11 different steps that a body needs to pass through before it is ready for the after-world.
  • How is the person judged suitable for the after-world?
  • What would happen if the spirit's heart did not balance with the feather?