First Physical Evidence found of Ancient Egyptian Opening of the Mouth Procedure
Ancient Egyptians took great care to mummify the bodies of high-status people and adorned and entombed them with some of the most beautiful objects ever made. However, in what appears contrary to the careful and delicate steps taken, a new scholarly study provides the first ever physical evidence that mortician-priests would force open the mouths of the deceased with a knife and iron chisel during the mummification process to perform an “opening of the mouth procedure”.
While it has long been known that the ancient Egyptians carried out an opening of the mouth ceremony – a symbolic animation of a statue or mummy by magically opening its mouth so that it could breathe and speak – it has also been suspected, based on historical references, that they carried out a physical procedure on the mouths of the deceased.
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