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 Museum Explorer

Death in Ancient Egypt

An early Egyptian man

Length: 163.000 cm

EA 32751

An early sand-dried mummy

Said to be from: Gebelein, Egypt
Date: Late Predynastic period, around 3400 BC

More than 5,000 years ago, this man was buried in a shallow grave in the sand. The hot, dry sand absorbed the water from his body, which dried it out. This preserved it so well that he almost looks the same as when he was alive. Can you see that even his skin and hair is still on his body? This is the way that most ancient Egyptians were buried before artificial mummification was used. Even in later times, many Egyptians were buried in this simple fashion, as they could not afford the cost of mummification.