An Egyptian Mummy

Did Egyptian Mummification Descend from a More Ancient and, Perhaps, Reversible Preservation Technique?

(Read the article on one page)

A central concept in the novel The Sphinx Scrolls is whether a mummification technology has ever existed that could preserve someone for long periods and retain the potential to bring them back to life. The book introduces the hypothesis that Egyptian mummification took its inspiration from an older and more advanced system which had such capabilities. But how far-fetched is that idea?

Mummification in Ancient Egypt, despite its success at preserving human tissue over thousands of years, was essentially symbolic. Take away belief in their spiritual afterlife, and the mummification process was just a sophisticated version of taxidermy, designed to halt the decay of skin cells. Internal organs were disposed of, since there was no concoction of spices and salts able to penetrate deep enough to save them.

Kai-i-nefer mummy, Egypt, Late Period, 525-332 BCE.

Kai-i-nefer mummy, Egypt, Late Period, 525-332 BCE. ( Public Domain )

But could Egyptian mummification have been a simplified, non-functioning version of a lost art of body preservation that had a real chance of reanimation? This notion only has credibility if it is first accepted that the Ancient Egyptians descended from a highly advanced antediluvian civilization, one that has since been lost to history. This controversial theory is based on numerous finds, curiosities and apparent anomalies supporting the tantalizing idea that instead of marking the zenith of mankind’s technological development, Egyptian achievements signaled the tail end of the decline of an even greater society.

Ancient Knowledge and Technology

In 1837 Egyptologist Colonel Howard Vyse blasted a hole in the Great Pyramid of Giza and discovered a section of iron sheet lodged between the inner blocks. Yet the pyramid was constructed two millennia before the Iron Age. Furthermore, a 1989 metallurgical analysis of that iron found traces of gold on its surface, suggesting it had been gold plated. This would have required knowledge of electricity.

Other clues might also point to an understanding of electricity. The Hathor Temple at Dendera boasts stone reliefs depicting what some have interpreted as lightbulbs.

The Dendera Light

The Dendera Light ( CC BY-SA 3.0 )

Some researchers have further speculated that the absence of soot or burn marks from flame torches in some Egyptian tombs could indicate the use of a system of electric lighting. Then there are the drilled holes still to be found in the granite of the Great Pyramid and in many other sites, including stone quarries. Might these perfectly circular, deep holes have been cut using a tool that required electric power? What about the peculiar hieroglyphs in the Temple of Seti I at Abydos which appear to show a helicopter, a boat and an airplane?

The hieroglyphs in Temple of Seti I.

The hieroglyphs in Temple of Seti I. ( Public Domain )

A single aberrant artifact can be explained as a coincidence or a modern misinterpretation. The helicopter carving, for instance, is believed to result from overlapping hieroglyphs following the re-use of the same stone. But faced with many other instances that appear to defy the established historical timeline, should we at least consider the possibility that Pharaonic Egypt represented humanity’s rediscovery of a fraction of what it once knew? After all, did the ability to construct the Great Pyramid of Giza with such scale and accuracy arrive relatively suddenly in a Bronze Age society, or did its builders use knowledge that had been preserved for generations?

Lost Civilization

The Great Sphinx of Giza might be thousands of years older than the pyramids. Some geologists who studied its weathering patterns have claimed it dates back to a time when the Giza plateau had a wet climate – several millennia before the pyramid builders. If this is true, it could support the lost civilization theory. Could the Pharaohs have descended from an advanced antediluvian civilization? Were Ancient Egyptians dimly aware of a past glory, of a time when their ancestors had the potential to ‘live forever’?

If the theories about Egyptian technology being a remnant of something far older and greater are true, then could their mummification also be a watered down version of a prehistoric technique that used more complex chemistry? Did they practice a pale remembrance of a procedure that preserved cells throughout the body, not just the skin, and that may even have been reversible? If so, they retained only partial knowledge. They didn’t possess the full recipe to mummify their dead with any prospect of genuine reanimation.

Comments

“….Some geologists who studied its weathering patterns have claimed it dates back to a time when the Giza plateau had a wet climate…..”

The ‘weathering’ patten in questions is undeniable WATER EROSION. There hasn’t been water in the Giza plateau for 12000 years.

Considering the Chinese also were masters of preservation, its highly likely at one point there was a civilization before both, which practiced likewise rituals.

This was explored in 1979's "SUM VII" by T.W. Hard

Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

Related Ancient Origins Articles

Top New Stories

Dream Idyll (A Valkyrie) by Edward Robert Hughes
And so began the final battle of the Norse gods: the one-eyed leader Odin, hammer-wielding Thor, and the mortal comrades chosen at death to fight alongside them against the forces of Hel and the trickster god, Loki. These comrades, once human men—princes and kings—were chosen in their final breaths of life by women who moved swiftly and suddenly through grounds hazy with blood; women whose primary role was to determine which men would be immortalized to one day defend the world against Loki's powerful, nearly undefeatable army of monsters.

Myths & Legends

Statue of Persephone, circa 525 BC and painting The Deluge
The myth of the underworld, much like the myth of the lost paradise and the worldwide deluge, is a universal one. Cultures from all across the world, past and present, widely separated and with seemingly no historical contact, believed in this mysterious realm that the spirits of the deceased went to after death.

Ancient Places

Statue of Persephone, circa 525 BC and painting The Deluge
The myth of the underworld, much like the myth of the lost paradise and the worldwide deluge, is a universal one. Cultures from all across the world, past and present, widely separated and with seemingly no historical contact, believed in this mysterious realm that the spirits of the deceased went to after death.

Opinion

Statue of Persephone, circa 525 BC and painting The Deluge
The myth of the underworld, much like the myth of the lost paradise and the worldwide deluge, is a universal one. Cultures from all across the world, past and present, widely separated and with seemingly no historical contact, believed in this mysterious realm that the spirits of the deceased went to after death.

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Next article